Subjectively, the printer appears to produce pages very quickly indeed, although the ratio of real to rated speed is less than 1:3, on single-sided pages. Our 20-page, duplex document completed in 52 seconds, giving 23 sides per minute, against the rated speed of 33.5spm.
Since the printer will print PDF files directly from a memory key plugged into its rear USB port, we also tested the speed of this type of print and produced a PDF version of our five-page text document in 30 seconds, or 10ppm. Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo print came through in 22 seconds.
Speed is one part of the equation for a laser printer, but the other is print quality and starting with the photo print, we were disappointed with the print quality we saw. There were very obvious micro bands across each image and noticeable noise in areas of tone, which should have been smoothly filled. At resolutions of both 1,200 and 600dpi, these markings were obvious and marred the print quality of business graphics, as well as photo images. Text output was much better, with clean, clearly printed characters showing very little spatter.
Kyocera Mita rates this printer at 56dBA, but we measured it at peaks of 64dBA, while printing in draft mode. When idling or in sleep mode, though, it’s near silent.
The cost of running a printer can be quite appreciable and the design of Kyocera machines has always meant these costs can be kept right down. In the case of the FS-4000DN, with a 20,000 sheet toner cartridge costing about £67 on the street, the cost per page, including 0.4p for paper, comes to just 0.81p. This is the second lowest figure we’ve ever seen, since we started testing printers and the current winner in this category is also a Kyocera machine.
Kyocera ticks nearly all the boxes with the FS-4000DN, but there are two empty. The initial cost of the printer, even considering its rated speed – and we never saw more than 30ppm, even in draft mode – is high. Print quality is also suspect, unless our review sample was atypical. The banding on graphics and photo prints wouldn’t be acceptable in a lot of offices.