Konica Minolta Magicolor 1600 W – Colour Laser Printer Review - Konica Minolta Magicolor 1600 W Review

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Customers considering this machine will probably be looking at alternatives such as the Samsung CLP-315, which is a very similar price, but the Konica Minolta machine beats it on all our speed tests. Our five-page black text document took 27 seconds to complete, which is a speed of 11.1ppm and when we increased the page run to 20 pages, the speed also increased to 16.7ppm. This is against a claimed speed of 20ppm for black, so not far off the spec.


The five-page text and colour graphics document took 1:09, which is equivalent to 4.35ppm, and the company claims 5ppm, so again pretty close. If you compare these speeds to a typical inkjet printer, such as the top-of-the-range, £90 Canon PIXMA iP4600, the Konica Minolta machine takes about a third the time of the Canon to print our five-page text and colour graphics document, so you are certainly gaining speed, even with the slow (for a laser) carousel mechanism.


The quality of output from the Magicolour 1600 W is what you’d expect from a laser printer. Black text is generally clean, though there is a very slight fuzz around character edges. For most purposes, you won’t notice this and colour business graphics are bright and solid. The vivid colours produced are ideal for eye-catching colour highlights, though when we printed our sample photograph, the colours would have benefited from a slight toning down. There are good controls in the driver for doing this.


As well as the toner cartridges, which are available in 1,500 or 2,500-page capacities – only 2,500-page for black – you will need to replace the imaging unit after 45,000 black pages or 11,250 colour ones and the fuser unit after 50,000, whatever their colour content. It’s quite possible a colour laser printer aimed at this market will never reach 50,000 pages during its service life, but we’ve included the costs of these consumables to produce a page cost of 3.71p for black and 13.4p the colour. The colour cost is a bit high, but the black cost is comparable with similar machines.

Verdict

This is a sound, entry-level colour laser printer, which produces good-quality print quicker than many of its competitors in both laser and inkjet fields. It’s easy to use and service and not too big, if space is at a premium.


You shouldn’t, however, think of a colour laser as a particularly cheap option when it comes to printing colour pages. Inkjet printers, although you may need to change the consumables more frequently, can actually come out cheaper. If you’re a student or sole trader, these kinds of cost differences may be particularly important to you.

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