Xerox has been fairly optimistic with its speed figures and quotes 16ppm for black print and 12ppm for colour. Our five-page text print took 39 seconds, including time labelled on the printer's control panel as ‘processing' and ‘calibrating', things it seems to do for most print jobs. This gives a speed of 7.69ppm for this document, but when we increase the page count to 20 pages, the speed goes up to 10.5ppm, which is respectable, though still some way below 16ppm.
The five-page black text and colour graphics document produced a speed of 8.11ppm, again around two thirds of the headline speed. The 15 x 10cm colour photo print took 18s.
Print quality, from the 600dpi engine, is clear and sharp, with no signs of spatter around characters and even small font sizes looking smooth with good curves. Colour graphics are also generally good, with bright, smooth colours, though there was some mis-registration of black text over coloured backgrounds. This occurs when a printer knocks out space for the overlaid text and the printing of that text is slightly misaligned with the white space of the paper.
The photo test image was darker than it should be and colours skewed towards the red end of the spectrum. Some adjustments can be made for this by experimenting with the different colour presets, but it's not the ideal laser for reproducing photos.
The only quoted consumable is the toner cartridges, but these aren't cheap. With the 2,000-page black cartridge costing just under £45 and each of the 1,000-page colour cartridges costing around £38, the cost per page comes out at 3.09p for black and 14.6p for colour.
The black cost is a bit cheaper than from, for example, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1600 W, which costs £3.71, but a bit more expensive for colour, where the Konica Minolta machine costs 13.4p. Comparing it with Canon's i-SENSYS LBP5050, it's more expensive all-round, 0.43p per page more for black and 3.08p more for colour
The Xerox Phaser 6125's big advantage is its very low purchase price. It produces worthwhile laser prints in mono and colour, as long as your work doesn't concentrate on photo images, and it prints reasonably fast. It's more expensive than some of its contemporaries to run, and surprisingly quite a bit more than some colour business inkjets, though that's true of its laser rivals, too.