Xerox Phaser 6180VDN

Xerox tackles the mid-range colour laser market, but will its latest low-price business printer in the Phaser line outperform cheaper entry-level models?

These times equate to speeds of 15.8ppm for black and 12ppm for colour, but knowing how printer makers measure print speeds, they're not too bad. Increasing the print run from five text pages to 20 gave a print speed of 21ppm, not far off the Xerox figure.

The speeds are all for single-sided prints, but the Phaser 6180VDN can produce duplex print as standard and printing our same 20-side test piece as a double-sided document produced a speed of 15.4ppm. The speeds are all very respectable for this class of machine and we have no complaints.

We also have no complaints about print quality. Black text print is extremely sharp and well-defined, something most companies would be more than happy to provide to their customers, as well is for internal documents.

Colour graphics are also clean and vivid, giving good, dense colours to business graphics and doing a very passable job of reproducing colour photographs. Many colour laser printers, with their smaller range of hues than comparable ink-jet machines, leave colour photos looking gaudy, but here the colours are more muted and consequently more natural.

The Phaser 6180VDN isn't a particularly noisy printer, either. Xerox quotes a sound level when printing of 49dBA and we wouldn't argue with that. Since some equivalent machines can peak at over 60dBA, the sound level here should be acceptable in most, typical offices.

Drum and toner cartridges are available in capacities of 2,000 colour pages and 3,000 black, or 6,000 colour pages and 8,000 black, if you go for the high-yield versions. Using current internet prices on the higher capacity cartridges yields page costs of 2.2p for black and 8p for colour. These costs are lower than from most of the colour lasers we've looked at recently and represent a good overall running cost, given the relatively infrequent needs for maintenance and the simplicity of swapping cartridges.

Despite its slightly dated looks, the Xerox Phaser 6180VDN is a very serviceable colour printer in most of the environments you would use such a machine. The only things we could possibly criticise it for, neither of which are deal-breakers, are a USB socket for walk-up printing and a larger paper input tray.

Verdict

This is an excellent, medium-level colour laser printer, suitable for use as a colour printer in a small business or as one of several, workgroup machines in a larger organisation. It's easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive to run and the print quality is as good as you're likely to see in this price range.

600dpi, 25ppm A4 duplex colour printer

400 x 493 x 470mm

250-sheet paper tray plus 150-sheet multi-purpose feed

60,000 page monthly duty cycle

USB 2, Ethernet and parallel connections

PCL and Postscript L3 drivers

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