Xerox claims a speed of 30ppm for black print and 25ppm for colour. As always, in normal use these figures are over-optimistic, but we did succeed in printing our 20-page text document in 51 seconds, which is equivalent to 23.5ppm, better than from many colour laser printers at this price. The five-page text and colour graphics test completed in 22 seconds, or 13.6ppm; not quite so good.
The Phaser 6280V/DN has a duplexer built in, and printing the same 20-page text document in duplex mode produced a speed of 16.9 sides per minute. This is again a reasonable speed for this class of machine and the Xerox printer has a peculiar but effective technique, where it takes in two sheets at once, printing both of the first sides and then turning them both over to print the reverses. It prints all its duplex documents in pairs of pages.
The quality of prints from this machine is very good. Black text reproduces very sharp and clear, with a slight sheen, and colour graphics are smooth and vivid. Some of the colour shades are, by default, darker than on-screen, though this can be compensated for through software. Registration of text over colour is very good, with little sign of haloing.
Finally, even though the machine has a top resolution of 600dpi, lower than many colour laser printers in its price bracket, photo quality is very good. There’s no sign of banding, colour gradation in skies is smooth and natural and there are exceptional levels of shadow detail. Foreground detail is also good and colours throughout look natural and without the ‘picture postcard’ effect we often see.
Although the only consumables are the drum and toner cartridges and these are available in two capacities, the cost per page we obtained from this machine isn’t wonderful. Using high-capacity cartridges, which have yields of 7,000 pages for black and 5,900 pages the colour, produces page costs of 2.37p and 9.27p, respectively, including 0.7p paper cost.
The black page cost is only around 0.4p high, but the colour cost is around 3.0p more than from other colour laser printers we’ve reviewed. This difference can be partly explained by the fact that the Xerox cartridges are less widely available than some other brands, so there’s less competition to bring prices down.
The Phaser 6280V/DN is an excellent colour laser printer, which is fast and produces fine print on both black and colour pages. From the sources we found, its consumables are not particularly cheap, resulting in a colour page cost quite a bit higher than from some of its competition. We expect these cartridge prices to come down, though, as the machine gets more popular. On this basis, we would recommend it as a good colour, workgroup device.
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