- Review Price: £292.58
Best Workgroup Printer(/centre)
(/centre)Xerox is known for its business laser printers and although some at the lower end of its range are suitable for use in the home, most are at least SOHO devices. The Phaser 6280 is a similar machine to the Xerox Phaser 6280V/DN, though this one has no duplex print and entry-level pricing – entry-level for a fast colour laser printer, that is.
First impressions of this machine is that it’s tall; so tall that if you’re short and you stick the printer on a desk you could have trouble reading its LCD display, particularly if you also invest in the optional 550-sheet extra paper tray. Given that it already has a 250-sheet main tray and a 150-sheet multi-purpose tray, which folds down from the front, perhaps there won’t be too many people adding extra feed capacity, though.
It would be a shame to have difficulty reading the display, as Xerox uses it intelligently to provide feedback and status information and, although it only has two lines of 16 characters, it’s backlit and easy to read. The rest of the control panel features four navigation buttons, a big Cancel Print button and an illuminated Wake Up button, which does just that; wakes the machine from sleep mode.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet and Xerox markets an optional wireless adapter if you want to cut the wires. Other options include extra memory and a 40GB hard drive if you’re installing the printer into a busy office.
One of the main reasons for the height of the Phaser 6280 is its colour print engine. Each drum and toner cartridge slots in above the next and a transfer belt attached to the inside of the front cover moves the paper past them as the machine prints. The cartridges are supplied installed, but you have to remove each to pull sealing tapes and paper wraps from them before starting.
Drivers for PCL in emulation and genuine Adobe PostScript Level 3 are provided on CD for both Windows and OS X, with Linux drivers also being available via download. There’s support for Pantone-approved colours, too, and PrintingScout is a network-enabled utility that can show the status of any installed Xerox printers.
The Phaser 6280 is rated at 30ppm for black print and 25ppm for colour. Our five-page black text print produced a speed of 15.8ppm, not much more than half the specified speed, but when we took the print run up to 20 pages, this increased to 24.5ppm, which is not far off the headline speed.
Black text and colour graphics didn’t slow the machine down that much and a five-page text and graphics print still returned 15ppm. There are no draft or toner-save modes on this printer, so the speed you get printing at the standard 600dpi resolution is the default for everything.
One slight problem is that the machine isn’t afraid of stopping halfway through a print run to perform calibration. While this may help ensure accurate colours, we’d rather it handled this when there was no print job in process. Even in a busy office, there’s plenty of time for colour twiddling between jobs.
The print quality is some of the best we’ve seen from a mid-range laser. Black text is very crisp, almost letterpress quality, with no signs of toner spread and densely black text. Colour print is also good, with bright, full-colours, though blues and greens can come out a little dark and there is slight haloing around black text over some colours. This is only slight, though, and in general, business graphics are very well reproduced.
Even our photo print, so often a difficult subject for a page printer, came out with reasonably natural colours and good levels of detail in darker areas of the image, as well as smooth gradations of colour from light to dark.
The integrated drum and toner cartridges are the only consumables in this printer and are available in two capacities. Even the standard capacity, of 3,000 pages for black and 2,200 for each of the colours, is healthy, but the high-yield cartridges offer 7,000 black pages and 5,900 colour ones, which should keep maintenance costs well down.
We calculate page costs of 2.7p for black and 10.7p for colour. The black cost is particularly good for a colour laser in this price range and the colour cost sits in the middle of the field, so isn’t expensive, either.
You can pay a lot for fast colour laser print in the office, so it’s refreshing to find the Phaser 6280 which, although costing under £300, offers a real-world 25ppm. The print quality is also excellent and running costs are among the best. With a fair degree of expansion potential, the machine should be able to stay with you as your business expands and is a good colour printer in most settings.
Score in detail
Print Speed 9
Print Quality 9
|Paper Size||A4, A6, 3" x 5", 8.50" x 14", 5.80" x 8.27", Custom Size|
|Sheet Capacity||400 sheets|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||31 ppmipm, 30 ppmipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||26 ppmipm, 25 ppmipm|