Kyocera Mita rates the FS-C5150DN at 21ppm printing both black and colour. While we didn’t get to that speed, we got reasonably close. Our five-page black text test gave 12ppm, which is a good speed for this class of printer, but when we ran the 20-page test, it increased to 17.7ppm, which is even better. The five-page black text and colour graphics test gave 12ppm, too, so it’s just as fast printing colour.
One of the features which separates this machine from many other £200 colour lasers is that it can print duplex as standard. It produced our 20-page document as a 10-page duplex one at 9.6 sides per minute.
A 15 x 10cm photo took 12s to print from a PC and a full-page A4 print took 22s, both of which are good times.
Print quality is very good. Black text is crisp and clean, even at small point sizes, and headlines and areas of reversed text showed no patchiness. Colour graphics are dense and bright, though registration of black text over colour fills was a little off.
For a laser printer, it does a very good job of printing photos, too. Most lasers have a comparatively small colour gamut, so they either look picture postcard bright, or lose a lot of definition between colour shades. Here, our test photos came out remarkably well – a little less vivid than from an inkjet, but some of the best we’ve seen from a laser.
Like all Kyocera Mita printers, the FS-C5150DN has a lifetime drum, so the only consumable you buy is toner. It gives page costs of 2.1p for lack and 9.5p colour, very good for the price of printer.
The problem is that the four toner cartridges together – they are only available in one capacity – come to £250, £40 more than the price of the printer. This is never a good thing, as it costs less to buy a second printer than it does cartridges for the first. If customers do the logical thing, they’ll keep buying new printers, which is a lot more costly for Kyocera Mita and for the environment.
The Kyocera Mita FS-C5150DN is a bargain. To produce a printer which can print black and colour well, single or double-sided, can be upgraded with extra paper trays and interfaces and is still cheap to run is quite a feat. If it wasn’t for replacement toner cartridges costing more than the printer itself, it would be worth 10/10.
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