Kyocera Mita claims the FS-3920DN can print at 40ppm and, if it wasn’t for the processing time, this would be a fair claim. However, our five-page text test completed in 34 seconds, giving a real-world speed of only 8.8ppm and while this increased when we ran the 20-page test, it still only reached 23.1ppm. The five-page text and graphics test gave 11.54ppm.
All these slow speeds are down to the long processing time, before the first page of a job starts to feed. This varies between 17s and 26s, depending on the document, which is poor, given that many equivalent machines start feeding within 10s. The average office document is still four pages, so the real speed of this machine is a lot slower than the headline figure suggests.
Duplex printing is standard in the FS-3920DN and is handled efficiently, with no hesitation between printing the sides of each page. It managed 16 sides per minute on our 20-side test document.
Printed output varies in quality, depending on the type of document you print. Text print is clean and dense, benefitting from the machine’s default resolution of 1,200dpi and greyscale graphics have plenty of tones to pick from, but are a bit patchy. This shows in our test photo print, too, where there’s slight banding in the sky and loss of detail in darker areas of the image.
Kyocera Mita nearly always wins the TCO section of group tests, thanks to its long-life drum. Many customers will only ever pay for toner and we’ve assumed that the 300,000 page life of the drum will be enough, when calculating costs.
Toner comes in 15,000-page cartridges, costing around £60 each, and gives a cost of 1.21p per page, including 0.7p for paper. This is pretty exceptional and makes the printer very inexpensive to run and cheap to maintain because of the high cartridge capacity.
The FS-3920DN is good in parts. On the plus side, it’s very inexpensive to run, with a cost per page many of its competitors would give a lot for. Print quality on text-based documents is also very good, but business graphics and photos aren’t as clean and smooth as from some others.
However, If this review sample is typical, Kyocera Mita needs to do something about the processing time before print jobs start. There’s no point in having a really fast print engine – and the one in this machine is capable of the headline 40ppm – if the machine waits for the best part of half a minute before starting to print. Small jobs are the norm in offices and the processing time then swamps the print time by as much as 3:1.