Ricoh Aficio C250DN – the color community laser printer for SMEs on a price range

Ricoh calls the Aficio C250DN a ‘compact’ color laser printer but it surely’s nonetheless not precisely a small object. Weighing 29kg together with consumables it’s additionally fairly heavy. This isn’t a unit you slip beneath a desk and simply neglect. How a Japanese firm higher identified for its stellar however costly digital cameras and enterprise photocopiers could make a printer this imposing after which cost solely £80 (at eBuyer) is, frankly, both astonishing or downright suspicious.

The low worth may make it sound like a steal for a home consumer fed up with dwelling on this planet of monochrome laser printing however the Aficio (we do not know what that phrase means both) is known as a departmental or house workplace enterprise printer for foolish cash. The specs underline this with 20 pages-per-minute print velocity with first web page out in 14 seconds, an A4 2400 x 600dpi decision and an Ethernet port to again up printing through USB and Wi-Fi. It will be supreme for anybody printing as much as 1,500 pages of color per thirty days.

The consumables are dear, though in equity that is an inherent downside with all color printers, which want 4 CMYK toner cartridges to a black and white’s one. The black prices £41.49 together with vat for two,000-pages life expectancy, whereas the cyan, magenta and yellow value £56.99 together with VAT for 1,600 pages. It’s the economics of toner cartridges that explains the low worth of this and lots of different color printers showing in the marketplace proper now. The maker sells the at a loss and ultimately makes cash on the consumables.

Ricoh quotes a mono value of two pence per web page and a color value of 12.6 pence. These are pretty commonplace however the color cartridges are a bit stingy at just one,600 pages and they’re going to additionally should purchased quickly after first buying the printer as a result of the manufacturing facility cartridges run for just one,000 pages every.

Keep in mind, there’s no level in printing color with one cartridge depleted. Take any one of many CMYK out of operation and any prints popping out of the machine gained’t be price taking a look at to anybody who has had fewer than 5 pints of beer within the earlier half hour. That doesn’t imply that the Aficio is solely a color printer; it may be used as a traditional monochrome textual content printer more often than not receiving occasional color jobs now and again.

Ricoh Aficio C250DN – why a laser?

A deeper query is why purchase a color laser as an alternative of an inkjet for low volumes. The reply is admittedly velocity, one thing lasers excel at. No inkjet will be capable to print a color picture on the identical velocity as producing a textual content web page however in idea a laser can, which on this case is as much as 20 pages per minute. For one-off jobs that issues not however print out the identical web page of pie charts for 20 individuals and the time-saving benefit will probably be apparent.

Setup

Configuring the printer requires an Ethernet connection initially after which settings equivalent to 802.11n Wi-Fi entry are configured by way of an inner internet panel. The entire course of took minutes with the one small situation being the necessity to be sure that the A4 lever had been bodily chosen contained in the machine from its default ‘envelope’ setting. In contrast to some printers that include big installations, the Home windows driver installs itself in lower than a minute. Altering the drum (entrance cowl) and every of the CMYK toner cartridges (prime cowl) additionally takes seconds.

Efficiency is sprightly, reaching near the claimed speeds for page-per-minute textual content output. Full-page A4 graphics have been additionally quick, showing in beneath a minute for even sizable information. The reminiscence is barely 128MB coupled to a 350MHz Intel processor however this appears to be ample to drive out pages from a Home windows PC that may feed print jobs to the machine from its cache. That’s an indication of excellent drivers, which run to Postscript in addition to PCL5c and PCL6.

We didn’t formally check print velocity or picture and textual content high quality as a result of making judgements requires a reference level we lack. However the output was pleasing. Energy consumption beneath load is said as 80 watts (rated 1,300 watts most) which drops again to three.eight watts in standby.

Ricoh Aficio C250DN – drawbacks

One situation with this printer is that it doesn’t assist Google’s Cloudprint, a cloud-based printing system supporting the corporate’s Chromebooks. This gained’t be a problem for some small workplaces but it surely is perhaps for others and is a disgrace. Driver assist is for Home windows and OS X solely with Unix/Linux supported by way of Postscript. Cloudprint is supported by a few of Ricoh’s different Aficio fashions.

For smartphones and tablets, Ricoh gives the Android and iOS Good Gadget Print & Scan Scan app.

Professional: Ruggedly constructed; speedy; low capital value; 2-year assure

Con: Be careful for cartridge prices

OUR VERDICT

That is an exceptionally nicely thought-our printer that not like some better-known manufacturers places the emphasis on simplicity and efficiency. With its 250-page A4 print capability (and double-sided printing), it might operate nicely as a house workplace or small workplace printer for modest print volumes, together with textual content paperwork with some color output. Regardless of its low cost supply worth at eBuyer, it even comes with an Ethernet port in addition to Wi-Fi, just about distinctive for a printer beneath the £100 mark.
The rub is the price of consumables relative to the capability on supply. Most laser printers for professional use will include cartridges providing a claimed 2,500 pages however Ricoh’s stretch solely to 1,600. If color is a requirement, it is very important take note of annual working prices. Given the top quality of as we speak’s printers, this, it could possibly be argued, is the true level of differentiation. Clone cartridges will lower the fee considerably however from our expertise may decrease the standard and consistency of the output.

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