Colour, duplex, laser all-in-ones are thin on the ground, but Ricoh has produced its Aficio SP C232SF for £400, which should make it a good vehicle for medium-sized businesses and workgroups.
This is a big device, weighing in at 30kg, and is both tall and deep. The flatbed scanner, complete with 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), sits on two pillars on top of the colour laser engine and can slide forward and back. Most will probably leave it in its furthest back position, though, as otherwise it can be awkward to remove documents from the output tray.
The control panel at the front is quite busy, as it has 10 quick-dial buttons, doubling up to 20 numbers with a shift key, and a full number pad. This can be used for fax numbers and for secure printing, so jobs are only released on entry of a PIN. It’s a shame this security isn’t combined with a front panel USB socket, as then true walk-up print would be available.
There’s a backlit, 2 line by 16 character LCD panel for status and menu display and a ring of navigation buttons, as well as a small number of buttons to set attributes, three illuminated mode buttons and three more to start and stop copy and scan jobs.
There’s a single paper tray, taking 250 sheets of paper, and a single-sheet feed for special media. A 500-sheet tray is an option, though why the integral tray couldn’t have that capacity is beyond us – this is meant to be an office machine, after all.
Connection can be via USB or Ethernet – sockets for both are at the rear, as are others for phone and fax line. Software installation is straightforward and includes a copy of Presto! PageManager for document management, as well as PCL and PostScript drivers, in emulation. There’s support for Windows and OSX, though there’s no mention of Linux support.