Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

This is a PostScript printer, but PCL drivers are provided, too. PS will give you the widest compatibility, particularly with Macintoshes on a mixed-platform network, but compared with PCL, the PostScript option is marginally slower.

The magicolor 5450 is particularly strong at printing colour. Both solid graphic and photo colours are clear and untroubled by banding. Photos in particular, enjoy a better colour gamut than most and are some of the most natural we’ve seen from a colour laser.

Print speeds are only average, with our five page text document giving just under 11ppm, and the colour graphics page around 6ppm. A 15 x 10cm photo took 35 seconds to complete. The doesn’t make the claimed 25ppm look very realistic.

The combined toner and drum units are available in two capacities, with the standard-yield producing up to 6,000, 5 per cent pages and the high-yield doubling that to 12,000 pages. The printer is provided with 3,000 page starter cartridges and this looks unnecessarily mean on a printer costing over £1,000. Why should a new purchaser be penalised by having low-yield cartridges?

The only other consumable is a waste toner bottle – the fuser unit is designed as a lifetime component, and is warranted for 120,000 pages. Talking of warranty, the Magicolor 5450 comes as standard with three year, on-site cover.

You can buy a set of three colour cartridges at a reduced price and using this together with a high-yield black cartridge gives a 5 per cent black page cost including paper of 1.80p, with 6.42p for 20 per cent colour. These are good figures, with the colour print cost at least 1p cheaper than from any colour laser we’ve tested recently.


Verdict

Konica Minolta’s magicolor 5450 is a well-designed, colour laser printer for the small business or workgroup. It produces some of the best photo prints we’ve seen, from PC or direct from camera, and is relatively cheap to run. The high initial price reflects the maximum print speed, and though we couldn’t realise the throughput claims, this is still a high-quality printer.

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