We spent some time looking for a TWAIN scanner driver for the FS-1018MFP, but eventually discovered that, although you can scan from the flatbed glass to an email, you can’t initiate a scan from within a Windows application, such as Word, Publisher or Photoshop. Although we can appreciate it would be awkward to scan across a network link from the machine, it’s a shame that a locally-connected PC can’t use the scanner in the FS-1018MFP. You can’t send faxes, either.
Our standard benchmarks ran without problem on the FS-1018MFP, though we didn’t see speeds similar to the claimed 18ppm. The five-page document produced around 11ppm, which is still a reasonable speed for a small business printer.
Print quality is generally very good, with fine, crisp text and pleasantly unadulterated greyscales. Text is a little too light and spidery in places, but this is only really noticeable at small font sizes.
There’s very little evidence of striping in even pale or gradated grey tones, which is unusual. Although there’s some micro-banding running vertically down our test print, you have to examine it pretty closely to see this. For general office use – the main purpose of this machine – print quality is well above average.
Kyocera’s toner-only system gives you low running costs, but when you consider total cost of ownership over say 50,000 pages, it costs £441 + £48 (sheet feeder) + (7 x £58 toner) or £895 at street prices. Compare that with, for example, a Lexmark X215MFP (with integral document feeder), which costs £263 + (16 x £43 toner) or £951, just six per cent more.
So yes, the FS-1018MFP is cheaper to run, but not by enough to make it the only choice. It prints well, is easy to maintain and has a network connection built in, but it also has a relatively awkward control panel and limits to its scanner resolution, scanner availability and copy size. Despite the pictures in much of Kyocera’s literature, the £50 document feeder is an optional extra, too. With all this in mind, the FS-1018MFP doesn’t quite cover all the bases that a device like this should.