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The print engine is also common to all three models, so you can view the A10 as something of a bargain, in comparison with the Advent AWP10. This machine is specced at speeds of 6ppm in black and 4ppm in colour and these figures must be for normal print mode, as our draft mode results gave a top black speed of 8.6ppm. In normal mode this came down to 5.2ppm, still very worthwhile, and the colour speed showed a maximum of 3.3ppm.
A single-page colour copy took a very reasonable 34 seconds; a 15 x 10cm photo on A4 photo paper came through in a quick 54 seconds; but a 15 x 10cm photo printed from an SD card directly onto the same size print completed in just 41 seconds - very good for this price of machine.
The print quality is better than reasonable, with good black text, marred only slightly by an occasional fuzziness, where the ink has flowed into the paper fibres. Block colours for business graphics are dense and show few signs of dither patterns or striping. A colour photocopy came out a lot lighter than the original, though it was still very usable.
Photo print is surprisingly good, though some micro-banding is noticeable in solid areas of sky. Colours are natural and not far off those produced by Kodak's own five-ink system.
PC World is now quoting slightly lower prices for Advent black and colour cartridges than when we tested the AWP10. We'd like to think this is in response to our pointing out how expensive they were, but we have to disappoint the company and say they’re still much too high. The cost per black text page is 6.2p and for colour its 14.1p, both including 0.7p for paper. Compare the costs with those from the £48 Canon PIXMA MP280, which gave 4.3p and 8.9p, or the £51 Epson Stylus SX425W, which returned an even better 2.7p and 7.7p, around half the cost of printing with the Advent A10.
If you look at its feature set, the Advent A10 is an excellent machine for the money. Several printers at this price don't have a colour LCD or a memory card slot (though the Epson has both) and print quality and speed are reasonable. However, it's the cost of running the printer that separates it from its main competition and, unless PC World can pull it into line, the Advent range is going to continue to look unattractive.