Kyocera manufactures a full range of laser printers, all based on the concept of a printer that only ever needs toner to keep it going. The drum unit is a lifetime component and the company claims costs of well under a penny a sheet for pages printed on its newest machine, the FS-1030D.
This is a personal laser printer which can print duplex pages (both sides of the paper as a single job). It’s an evolutionary product, developed from the FS-1020D, but with several notable improvements. For a start, it’s a bit smaller, mainly in height. The case, designed by FA Porsche, still has its trademark indent in the front, but in other ways it’s pretty much a squashed cube.
There’s a 250 sheet paper tray, which pulls out from the bottom front and above that a 50 sheet multi-purpose tray. The MP tray folds down from the front, but sits at quite a steep angle when in use. This reduces the footprint of the printer, but makes access a bit more awkward. The tray feels quite flimsy, but it worked without problem during testing.
On the top panel, the only indication of status is a line of four LEDs, two green and two orange. The printer makes use of these in sequence, as well as individually, to show things like the printer initialisation. During most of the printer’s life they are there to show power, data, paper out and low toner.
At the back of the FS-1030D are sockets for USB 2.0 and parallel connections. There’s no network adapter as standard, but this is available as an optional extra. You can also add a second 250-sheet tray and put the printer on a Kyocera stand, complete with cupboard for storing paper and consumables.
A flap at the front of the printer lifts to take the toner cartridge and this is a simple drop-in fit. When you’ve added toner, the printer performs a one-off initialisation where toner is fed through the machine; this takes around 15 minutes.
Installing the driver is simple enough, though unusually you have to connect the printer first and select the right driver from a library of Kyocera’s entire range. The software should be able to select the right model for you.
Kyocera claims 22ppm in draft mode for the FS-1030D, a slight increase from the 20ppm of its predecessor. Under test, we saw around 12.5ppm for our text document, in normal print mode. This is slightly closer to the manufacturer’s claim than most printers under test achieve.