- Review Price: £627.44
In these energy conscious times, Kyocera Mita should stand in very good stead as it’s always majored on the low running costs of its laser printers. With lifetime drum components, all you’re paying for is toner and this is good for the environment as much has your bank balance.
Kyocera Mita’s 5000 series colour laser printers have a slightly antiquated look. Although they are basically cuboid boxes, like most others, the combination of curves round the front panel and in towards the page exit slot at the rear of the top panel looks a little dated.
Even in its basic configurations, the FS-C5025N can handle up to 600 sheets of paper; 500 of them in a deep paper tray and the extra 100 in a multipurpose tray, which folds out above the main one. You can add up to three more, 500-sheet paper trays and a cabinet underneath on castors, so it’s quite possible to expand this printer into a full workgroup device.
This is an in-line colour laser printer, so it’s quite a bit deeper than it is wide. The control panel is a simple affair with a two line by 16 character backlit LCD and eight control buttons, six of which are used to work the menu system. At the back are sockets for USB 2.0 and Ethernet, the two interfaces provided as standard.
Setting the FS-C5025N up is remarkably simple. Open the top cover and slot in the four independent toner cartridges, locking each into place with a small lever. Slot a waste toner bottle into a receptacle at the side and you’re away. Software installation is easy, too, with the well-written driver installing under Windows and providing good control of the printer’s capabilities.
It handles multiple pages per sheet and poster printing, scaling from 20 per cent to 500 per cent and double-sided printing, if you fit the optional duplexer. There’s also good, easy-to-use adjustment of colour and you can set up a number of custom colour profiles for particular tasks.
When in deep sleep, the FS-C5025N is claimed to consume only 16W, about the power of an energy-saving lightbulb. You do pay for this low power consumption, though, as the printer takes up to 70 seconds to wake up from sleep mode and be ready to print.
With the printer already awake, our five-page text print took 33 seconds to complete, giving a print speed of 9ppm, less than half the 20ppm quoted in the spec sheet. Colour pages print at a speed of 8.3ppm, only slightly slower. Subjectively, the printer doesn’t seem slow, it’s just that, like most of its competitors, the quoted speeds bear little relation to real-world numbers.
Printed output from the machine is very good. With a slight sheen to black text, it makes it look particularly precise and very black. Even small characters are accurately reproduced and output looks very professional.
Mixed text and colour graphics also reproduce well, though some of the block colours are darker than their equivalents on-screen. For a change, shades are less bright than the originals. There’s little sign of dither or other dotted artefacts.
Finally, the photographic print, while a little grainy, at least doesn’t suffer from the ‘touched up postcard’ effect the small colour gamut of colour lasers often gives to photo images. Colours are reasonably natural, with a good level of detail from what is, after all, a 600dpi engine.
Kyocera quotes a sound output from the FS-C5025N of 55dBA and this is about right. The sound is quite high-pitched and whiny, but is more Thunderbirds than Joe Pasquale, so it’s not too intrusive.
The only running costs with this printer are the toner cartridges, all of which should be capable of printing 8,000, 5 per cent cover pages. The black toner cartridge is available for around £60 and each of the colour ones are just under £95. Maintenance costs should be low, because of the comparatively simple consumables regime adopted by Kyocera Mita.
Costs per page come out at a meagre 1.23p for five per cent black print and for 20 per cent colour it only rises to 4.71p, the lowest colour page cost we’ve yet measured. The purchase price of this colour machine may be comparatively high, but you should recoup that on the low running costs and come out ahead over the life of the printer.
This is a quality colour laser printer with the lowest running costs we’ve ever recorded. As such, it has to come highly recommended as its print quality is also well above average. Easy to maintain and readily expandable as your company grows, it has to be high on the list of anybody in the market for a workgroup colour laser printer.
Score in detail
Print Speed 8
Print Quality 8