1st Place: Lexmark X560n
While it may not have the most devastating looks, the X560n has a lot of practical advantages, as a colour laser all-in-one. This is a substantial machine with full-size flatbed scanner, complete with ADF for bulk document scanning. It's flexible and expandable paper handling is matched by excellent print quality, from text, through colour graphics to photo prints, which it handles unusually well for a colour laser. Maintenance is simple, with single-piece cartridges for each colour, and consumable costs are impressively low. It prints quickly and is expandable enough to grow with a business and not be made quickly obsolete.
2nd Place: Brother HL-2035
Brother is now the number two supplier of laser printers in the UK and the HL-2035 is one example why. This is a not a heavyweight, all-singing/all dancing machine, but an entry-level, personal laser costing under £60. Despite its low cost and diminutive size, this printer manages a speed of 13ppm on long jobs. Its two-part drum and toner cartridge keeps running costs down to around 3p per sheet and print quality is remarkably good for a printer in this class; it even prints reasonable greyscale photos. The HL-2035 shows what can be achieved with sensible design, even at a low price.
3rd Place: Xerox Phaser 6180VDN
A workgroup colour laser printer needs to be fast, robust and easy to maintain. This model includes network, as well as USB and parallel connections, so should fit most offices. It's nearly as fast as Xerox claims, which is unusual in itself, and can print at over 20ppm in black and around 12ppm in colour. The printer can automatically duplex, too, which produces quite a paper saving in a busy workgroup. Print quality is well above average and maintenance is easy, given the simple, vertically-mounted cartridges and lifetime fuser.