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Konica Minolta Magicolor 8650DN

A duplex A3 capable printer that doesn't take up too much space seems like a contradiction in terms, but has Konica Minolta's Magicolor 8650DN done the trick?

Konica Minolta rates the Magicolor at 35ppm for both black and colour prints. This is for A4 single-sized prints, so we started testing on that paper size. A five-page text document clocked up 20ppm, but as we increased the document length, first to 20 pages 30ppm and then to 60 pages 34ppm within a smidgeon of the claimed speed. Colour graphics didn't slow the printer down much, either and printing duplex pages still returned 27 sides per minute on a 60-side job.

Since A3 print is standard, plenty of people will be wanting to print that size and we saw simplex pages printing at 15ppm and duplex ones at 11ppm. Overall, a more than respectable result on speed, but how about the prints themselves?

Black text is very clear and precise, with a slight sheen adding to the professional effect of the page. Colour business graphics, however, are over-bright at default settings and adjustments may well need to be made to get colours looking more natural.

The print samples supplied by Konica Minolta show that it is possible to get natural colours from the machine, but our own photo sample showed colours which veered too far towards the primaries. Detail levels, from the 600dpi print engine, are fine for most business purposes.

In calculating costs, we're assuming you're unlikely to reach the 400,000 pages the fuser is designed to last, so haven't included a replacement in calculations. The transfer belt and roller are each rated at 150,000 pages, so it's possible these parts won't need to be changed, either.

That leaves the toner cartridges, drums and the waste toner bottle. Using the best internet prices we could find gives a cost per ISO black page of 1.36p and one for ISO colour of 6.25p. Both these figures are good, with the colour cost being particularly impressive.

Given the asking price of the printer itself at under 2,400, the TCO of the Magicolor 8650DN is low. If you prefer to pay for your printing on a per-click basis, there's a version of this machine in Konica Minolta's BizHub range, which is charged in this way.

Verdict

The feature set for this printer, including duplex print on A4 and A3 paper, twin paper trays and Gigabit Ethernet, makes it look very attractive as the basis for office and graphic printing. Given its flexible expansion options, it should be able to grow with your business too.

DPI: 600 x 600dpi, 35/35ppm A3 colour laser printer

Paper tray: 2 x 500 sheet paper tray + 150 sheet multi-purpose tray

Duty cycle: 2,500 – 150,000 pages per month average

Connections: USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet

Languages: PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3

Features: A3 print, duplex print, USB drive port, fast print

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