- Very easy to maintain
- Good text print quality
- Relatively quick print for small size
- Average draft and greyscale print quality
- Kyocera equivalent cheaper to buy and run
- No LCD display on control panel
- Review Price: £243.00
- 50-sheet multi-purpose tray as standard
- PCL6 and PostScript L3 emulations included
- Long life/lifetime photoconductor drum
- Duplex print
- Return program for cartridges
Design-wise, it’s pretty much a flattened cube, with a pale grey body and dark grey top. Paper feeds from a 250-sheet main tray or from a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray, which folds down from the front. You can add two more, 250-sheet trays underneath the machine to increase its capacity to a total of 800 pages.
The control panel is small and simple, with three buttons for information, cancel and start/stop. The information button prints a comprehensive status page. There are six indicators, including those for paper, toner and memory errors. At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet networking.
Like the Kyocera Mita machine on which it’s based, the Aculaser M2400DN has a longlife drum, which should give 100,000 pages of normal print and may therefore survive for the full service life of the printer, without changing. All you need to replace is toner, and the cartridge clips in under the top cover. The locking mechanism is a bit flimsy, so you may have to fiddle to get it into the right position and there’s a one-time, 15-minute charging cycle, each time you change cartridges.
Software comprises emulated drivers for PCL6 and PostScript L3 and Epson supports both Windows and OS X platforms. There’s also support for Linux and Netware, though you’ll need to download generic drivers.
Epson rates the printer at 35ppm, which is quick for a relatively small machine like this. As usual, the speed we saw would be closer to the claims if you ignore the wake-up and processing times. Even when the machine is ready to print, it can still take 10-12s while the page is rasterised.
We saw a speed of 14.3ppm on our five-page text document, with no increase in speed using draft mode, but when we ran the 20-page long document, the speed rose to 25ppm, just over 70 per cent of the rated speed.
The printer offers duplex printing as standard, and this produced a healthy 16.2 sides per minute when we ran the 20-page document over 10 pages. Our 15 x 10cm photo printed on A4 in 15s, though it was a bit fiddly to get it to print at the machine’s highest resolution of 1,200dpi. There doesn’t appear to be any way to explicitly set it to a given number of dots per inch.
The quality of text print is good, certainly well up to general office duties, though draft mode produces a slightly odd ‘outlined’ look to characters, which is less than ideal. Greyscales in business graphics are a little mottled, though there are enough shades of grey to distinguish a good range of colours. The photo print had an obvious dot pattern, but is no worse than from other printers at similar prices.
The toner cartridges, which are the main consumable on this machine, are available in yields of 3,000 and 8,000 pages, though the printer comes with a ‘starter’ cartridge offering just 2,000 pages. Using the high-yield cartridge gives an ISO cost per page of 2.3p, including 0.7p for paper.
This is about 0.25p per page more than from the equivalent Kyocera Mita printer and it would be interesting to know if that cheaper cartridge would be recognised by this machine. Even at the 2.3p page rate, though, this is not an expensive printer to run and the relatively high yield of its toner cartridge should mean there’s a minimum amount of maintenance involved.
Since this printer shares its engine and a lot of its specs with the Kyocera Mita FS-1370DN, you have to ask why you’d spend over £50 more for Epson’s Aculaser M2400DN. You may have had good service from Epson in the past, or prefer its driver interface or case styling, but otherwise it’s hard to see why you’d want to pay more to buy and run the Aculaser rather than the FS.
Score in detail
Print Speed 8
Print Quality 6