The Phaser 6140 prints a two-sheet configuration document each time you switch it on. Even assuming the printer will be used in an office, this still seems a daft default. Surely this kind of status print-out is only ever needed on demand? Fortunately, the default can be changed from the front panel.
Xerox rates the printer at 20ppm for black and 18ppm for colour, which are good speeds but unlikely to be realised. In fact, our five-page black text document completed in 30 seconds, giving a speed of 10ppm. However, the longer, 20-page text returned a speed of 17.4ppm, not far off the claimed speed.
The five-page black text and colour graphics document was slightly faster than the black document, too, at 11.1ppm, so we think you might see 18ppm on a long-run. The 15 x 10cm photo print on A4 took 32 seconds, which is a bit slow, but quite a few runs were slowed by periods of ‘calibration’ – shame the printer can’t do this between jobs.
The quality of the prints is generally very good. Black text, although at a straight 600dpi resolution, has clean-cut edges and smooth curves and diagonals. Colours in business graphics are bright and positive, but some shades come out a good bit darker than the originals. This can be adjusted for, of course, but some other colour lasers are more accurate by default.
Also, there is noticeable mis-registration between colour and black print, so obvious haloes appear around black text over colour graphics. This is more awkward to adjust for, but it’s not the most heinous of sins.
The test photo print was surprisingly good, with colours looking much more natural than from most other laser printers in the sub-£200 range. Colour gradations are smooth and there are good levels of detail in both light and dark areas of the image.
Xerox claims a noise level of 51dBA for the printer and we didn’t hear much more than this from the review machine. It’s not going to cause any distraction in a small office – its intended home.
Assuming the only running costs are the four toners, which have yields of 2,000 pages for each of the colours and 2,600 pages for black, the ISO cost per page is 3.3p for black and 12.7p for colour, both including 0.7p for paper. These costs are roughly in the middle of those for printers we’ve tested in the £100 to £200 range.
The Xerox Phaser 6140V/N is a good, mainstream colour laser printer. It’s quick, produces good black and colour print - though registration may be a bit out - and isn’t unduly expensive to run. The version we tested doesn’t handle duplex print, but for roughly £20 more you can buy the Phaser 6140V/DN, which does. It’s good, and unusual, to have Adobe Postscript on a printer at this price and the machine is particularly versatile in the platforms Xerox supports.