Review Price £385.87
A general-purpose office laser printer needs to offer more than a personal or SOHO machine. It's likely to be used by more than one person so it needs to be quicker at printing and it needs network connectivity. It will also benefit from a larger capacity paper tray so you don't have to refill it constantly as well as a second paper tray for printing on letterheads and blank pages without reloading. These are all things the Konica Minolta PagePro 4650EN offers.
Coloured in cream and dark grey, the PagePro 4650EN looks discreet, yet functional. Its layout is very conventional, though it does have twin paper trays set into its front; one with a capacity of 150-sheets and the other a generous 550, enough for a full ream of paper. You can add two more of these high-capacity trays as well as various stackers, face-up trays and a duplexer - a bit surprising this last item isn't included, given the printer's price.
More surprising, though, is Memory Direct; a useful USB socket on the front panel that can be used to read and print JPG, PDF, TIF or XPS files directly from a USB drive or from a PictBridge camera. At least it can if you fit a 1GB Compact Flash card or optional hard drive inside the printer. With the current price of memory, it's very hard to see why Konica Minolta doesn't fit a gigabyte internally and enable this function by default. Other, less expensive lasers offer ‘walk-up' printing like this as a matter of course.
The backlit LCD can show up to four lines of text, but is hampered by the worst looking font we've seen on a printer display in a while. All spindly and jagged, it's readable, but looks like the output from an old pen plotter.
There's a four-way control ring on the right of the display, with a Menu Select button in the middle and a pink Cancel button beside. This set is all you need to navigate the printer's menus. At the back are sockets for USB 2.0, Ethernet at up to a gigabit and an old faithful parallel port.
The combined drum and toner cartridge fits through a slot in the top, sliding down at a steep angle into the centre of the printer. Unusually, since they're normally brightly coloured, we didn't, at first, notice any protective tape on the cartridge to pull out to release the toner. Konica Minolta's toner release tape is in fact the colour of parcel tape and so wasn't very conspicuous. More unusually, the printer didn't report anything wrong with our oversight and just sent through blank pages.