- Review Price: £489.31
Kyocera Mita markets its FS-C5200DN as a small workgroup colour laser printer, but if you add all the expansion options, it looks as if it could deal with quite a large workgroup. It has the paper capacity, speed and high-yield consumables to give it a very reasonable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Styled by FA Porsche, the cream and dark grey case is both angular and quite tall, sitting quite high off the desk as a result. This is partly due to the standard paper tray, which holds all of 500-sheet ream at a time. A multipurpose tray folds down from the front of the machine and this can take a further 150 sheets of plain paper or special media such as envelopes or overhead transparencies.
The simplified control panel includes a 2-line by 16-character, backlit LCD display, along with three warning lights and a set of eight control buttons, including a menu control diamond and Stop and Go function buttons.
The machine has a walk up USB print facility, though for some reason the USB socket is at the back on the left-hand side. It would be a lot better on the control panel at the front. The printer comes as standard with both USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections
Installation of the four toner cartridges, the only consumables listed for the FS-C5200DN, should be very straightforward, as you lift the top cover and simply clip the four consumables into place inside the machine.
However, the review sample had a small catch shifted forwards below the cartridge holders, so the cartridges wouldn’t latch properly into place. It took a while to find this, as it did the internal selector switch which had set the printer into ‘envelope mode’. These problems were probably individual to our review machine, though, and a brand-new device should be set-up correctly.
The printer comes with both PCL 6 and Postscript Level 3 emulation, as well as Kyocera Mita’s own PRESCRIBE printing language and installation is straightforward from the supplied CD.
Kyocera Mita claims print speeds of 21ppm for both black and colour prints and although both our five-page black text print and the black text and colour graphics jobs took 25 seconds to complete, the equivalent of 12ppm, when we increased the job size to 20 pages, the speed went up to 17.9ppm, not far off the claimed headline figure.
Duplex print, which is standard on this machine, cut the speed of a 20-side job to 10.2ppm, but this isn’t too bad for this class of machine. A 15 x 10cm colour print took just 13 seconds from a PC and, printed from a USB stick, this still only went up to 25 seconds.
Kyocera Mita has always done well with the quality of its print and black text on this machine is very clean cut. Colour graphics are bright and smooth, though there’s a little random haloing of black text over colour backgrounds. This is slightly surprising, given that the company claims good registration and colour trapping to be a prime feature of this model.
Photo prints are good and don’t suffer the ‘small gamut’ difficulties of some of its rivals. In fact Kyocera Mita has extended the gamut available from its colour toner and also improved the spherical quality of the particles, to improve the regularity of print.
The four toner cartridges are said to be the only consumables in this printer and have specified yields of 7,000 pages for black and 6,000 pages for each colour. The drum is claimed to last for 200,000 pages, but in the small print this is ‘200,000 pages or three years use, whichever is the shorter’.
Three years doesn’t seem very long for a printer of this calibre, particularly when Kyocera sells an extended five-year warranty against breakdown. Even given that the duty cycle is 65,000 pages per month, we think it quite possible that you wouldn’t print anywhere near 200,000 pages in three years and the drum then has no warranty.
With the current cost of toner cartridges in the £70-£95 region, page costs, even including 0.7p for paper, come out at 1.84p for black and 6.61p for colour. These are very good figures, though we have seen them bettered, by the Dell 3130cn, which undercut the Kyocera Mita machine by around 0.3p per black text page.
This is a fine colour printer for small to medium-sized workgroups and has a good level of expandability. Kyocera Mita has given the machine decent paper capacity, which isn’t always the case with colour lasers in this price bracket. It has also provided a good range of paper handling options, particularly if you need several different papers or have a high average throughput. Running costs are low and the high yield of the toner cartridges means maintenance is relatively rare. With just toner cartridges to replace, it’s also especially easy to carry out.
Score in detail
Print Speed 8
Print Quality 8