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.