Epson rates the printer at 28ppm, but is always fairly ambitious with its numbers. Our five-page black text print took 22s, giving a speed of 13.6ppm, but even when we went to the 20-page print, the speed only increased to 19.4ppm. This is still some way off the headline figure, and due mainly to pre-print processing time.
The machine supports duplex print and copy, and printing our 20-page document as a 10-page duplex test produced a speed of 13.5 sides per minute. Copy speeds are hampered by the warm-up time of the flatbed scanner and from cold produced a slow copy time of 35s for a single sheet from the glass. The five-page copy from the ADF took a very reasonable 23s, however. 15 x 10cm photo prints from the PC and directly from the USB socket took a snappy 24s.
In its main function of printing text, the AcuLaser MX20DN does very well, with sharp, light print, which is very readable. In draft mode, though, text is filled with a pattern of dots, which makes it quite awkward to read.
Greyscales are fair, though with a slight blotchiness in some shades and this is accentuated in copies, where there’s quite a degradation from original, greyscale masters. Photo prints are generally clean and reasonably well detailed for a black-and-white printer.
The toner cartridge is available in capacities of 3,000 and 8,000 pages and using the high-capacity version produces a ISO page cost of 2.9p. This sits in the middle of the field for mono laser printers, though you might expect a lower figure in a relatively expensive machine aimed at workgroups.
This is a good, general-purpose multifunction printer, not quite as fast as Epson believes it is, but with a useful turn of speed nonetheless. Duplex print is a useful addition and duplex copy, though scanned pages have to make three passes, is a welcome addition. Consumable costs are average, but the lower maintenance should save you extra money.