Ricoh has a smaller presence in the retail market than many printer makers, but sells well into SME and corporate printer markets. The Aficio CL1000 is close to entry-level in its colour laser range, but still has an RRP of over £1,200. Fortunately, the street price is at a much more sensible level, just under £600.
This is a big machine, a definite two-person lift – or your reviewer and his trusty hernia belt. It has a standard 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom, with the option of an extra 520-sheet one fitting underneath. The front panel folds down to reveal the four toner cartridges and above that is an output tray built into the top cover and a small control panel.
This comprises eight control buttons and a two line, 16-character LCD display. While the display has no backlight, it's near horizontal positioning means it can use most overhead lighting, so is reasonably easy to read. At the back are sockets for USB 2.0 and parallel local connections, as well as an Ethernet socket, as standard, for a network link.
Physical installation is simple enough, though there are a fair number of tapes and plugs to remove. The toner cartridges are supplied inside the machine, but have to be removed and replaced in turn, to take off transit covers. The photoconductor belt slides in through a separate slot in the top of the machine. It takes a minute or so from first switch-on to calibrate itself, and it’ll do this each day, if you switch it off at night.
We didn’t find software installation as straightforward as we imagine Ricoh intends. The Ricoh driver CD autoruns, but when we tried to install through the setup Wizard, we ended up with a printer Windows XP wouldn’t see. There are no instructions in the Quick Reference guide on driver installation and the details of the installation for Windows XP and a USB 2.0 connection are effectively hidden on page 124 of a 287 page Client Reference guide, available on CD only. These detailed a different installation regime, which worked, but wasn’t obvious. A supplement to the Quick Reference guide would be helpful.
Supplied software includes network drivers and document management software, which turns out to be DesktopBinder V2 Lite, a PaperPort-style document converter. The printer supports PostScript Level 3, as well as PCL 5 as standard.