There are a lot of colour laser printers available now, but rather fewer which are duplex-capable out of the box. Epson’s AcuLaser C3900DN is one of these, boasting an impressive claimed print speed and a design which differentiates it from most rivals.
This bulky, white and slate grey printer has an odd configuration, almost as if it's been turned through 90-degrees from typical designs. Although its 250-sheet paper tray pulls out from the front, you load paper into it in landscape mode. It feeds up from right to left inside the printer and out onto a fold-up paper support on its top.
There's a substantial, 50-sheet multipurpose tray which folds down from the printer's right-hand side and a further, 500 sheet tray is available as an option. Controls set into the front panel consist of a four-way ring with a central OK button and a separate one for Cancel. The menu system is easy to navigate, though the aesthetic is hard to understand.
The backlit LCD display, which has four lines of 16 characters, has one of the ugliest fonts we’ve seen on a printer. It looks like vector labelling from an early CAD technical drawing and appears unfinished. There is an interesting coloured strip along the top of the display, though, which shows blue, red or purple to indicate different status conditions.
At the back of the printer are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet and both PCL and PostScript L3 drivers are provided for Windows and OS X. There's Linux support too, though you have to download this. Very little software is provided other than these drivers, but the driver includes a soft tab, where you can pull together the control functions you use most often, to speed up setting changes.
The printer's sideways design means the toner cartridges are directly accessible from behind the front panel, making them very easy to service. There are separate drums for each colour, as well as a separate fuser and waste toner container, all of which have different life cycles, though thankfully long ones.