Review Price £385.87
Software comprises a series of PageScope utilities to provide network control and a well-appointed driver that supports cover and separator pages, watermarks and overlays, multiple pages per sheet and 600 or 1,200dpi resolutions.
Konica Minolta rates the PagePro 4650EN at 34ppm, which is fast, but our speed tests didn't get close to this speed. The five-page text print took 19 seconds and the text and graphic print was two seconds faster. This gives a maximum, real-world speed of 17.6ppm, only about half the quoted figure. We tried printing the same document in economy mode, but it still took 16 seconds, so it's hard to see how the company arrives at its speed figure.
The printer managed our 15 x 10cm photo print in just 11 seconds, very close to the claimed 10.5 seconds time for first page out, so its comparatively slow multi-page output isn't a function of our including rasterising time in the overall print figure.
Print quality for text is very good, with sharp, well-defined characters and smooth curves and diagonals. The default resolution is 600dpi, which is fine for text, but the printer can be switched to 1,200dpi for graphics and photo output. Business graphics are well reproduced, though greyscale fills can be a little stripy. This is also true of photographic images, where backgrounds show some banding, though it's not severe.
The only consumable in the PagePro 4650EN is the one-piece drum and toner cartridge and this is available in two capacities: 10,000 and 18,000 pages. Using the higher capacity unit for better economy gives a cost per page of 1.78p for a five per cent cover page. That's a bit on the high side compared with other lasers we've tested in the same price bracket, but still low in absolute terms, compared with cheaper lasers and nearly all inkjets.
The PagePro 4650EN is a robust office laser printer with some useful features, such as the twin paper trays. Print quality and cost per page are both good and it's mainly the cost/feature analysis that lets it down. For the same money, you can get a laser with an improved spec, including duplex print. The optional Memory Direct USB print on this printer should be standard, too, since it's only memory (which is cheap) that's needed to make it work.
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