IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Xerox VersaLink C500DN review: Appy days

An expansive app library makes this affordable printer exceptionally versatile – and it’s fast, too

A photograph of the Xerox VersaLink C500DN
Price
£369 exc VAT
  • Fantastic app selection
  • Lightning-fast printing
  • Great security features
  • Poor-value standard toner cartridges

Sitting in the middle of Xerox’s VersaLink range, the C500DN is a colour LED printer aimed at workgroups of between five and 15 users. To that end, it offers fast 43ppm print speeds, built-in duplexing and a recommended monthly duty cycle of 10,000-pages. It also features a generous 700-sheet paper tray – which can be expanded hugely by adding up to four 550-sheet lower trays, or combining one with a high-capacity 2,000-sheet feeder.

Connection options are flexible, as the C500DN sports both USB 3 and Gigabit Ethernet ports, while simultaneous 802.11n wireless services can be added for £47 via a little box that snaps in at the back. 

What really makes the VersaLink C500DN special, however, is Xerox’s ConnectKey platform. This provides a tablet-like user experience via a 5in colour touchscreen, complete with downloadable apps to add useful print and cloud features. 

On first contact, a wizard appears on the touchscreen to guide you through initial installation and get you started with the four preinstalled ConnectKey apps. These provide access to printer settings, job status and USB device printing; the fourth is the App Gallery, which you can use to browse the cloud app store and add more (although you’ll probably find it more convenient to log in from a desktop web browser). 

There are plenty of apps to choose from, and some are free. One example is @PrintByXerox, which lets you email documents to the printer, view them from the touchscreen and decide which ones to release. Slightly disappointingly, the cloud print apps for Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box all cost around £80 per device – but they work well, allowing users to conveniently log in, browse their accounts at the touchscreen and print directly from the cloud. 

And if that idea makes you uneasy, fear not. You can restrict touchscreen access by user account – both local and LDAP user authentication are supported – and decide which specific apps that users are allowed to use. The printer driver also offers print and hold, and PIN-secured prints.

As if all this weren’t enough, the C500DN is also the fastest printer we’ve tested recently, delivering our 43-page test Word document in 60 seconds at both standard and enhanced resolutions. And it’s no slouch at duplexing, producing a double-sided copy of our test document at 41ppm. Our challenging 24-page colour DTP document didn’t faze it either, with a 600dpi print averaging 43ppm, only dropping marginally to 41ppm at the enhanced resolution. 

Quality, meanwhile, is top-notch. Even on cheap 75gsm paper, the printer produced pin-sharp text and detailed mono photos. Colour printing is just as good: graphics came out with plenty of fine detail, with the driver’s “Vivid RGB” setting making our reports really stand out.

Mobile users can get in on the act too, as the Xerox Workplace Cloud portal provides local and remote printing services for iOS and Android devices plus desktops. Licensed by job credits or by device, with a 3,600-job credit costing £357 per year, this makes use of an agent discovery service loaded on one PC on your LAN and includes strict remote access controls.

We’ve just one word of caution: avoid the standard toner cartridges, as these will send your running costs through the roof. The extra high-yield versions deliver far more palatable mono and colour costs of 1.3p and 5.6p per page.

Aside from that, the VersaLink C500DN is very hard to criticise. The ConnectKey apps make it supremely versatile – but even if you have little need for them, it’s an excellent choice, combining fast, sharp output with great security and mobile printing services. 

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

Epson Photo HD XP-15000 review: Small footprint, small price, big prints
peripherals

Epson Photo HD XP-15000 review: Small footprint, small price, big prints

23 May 2022
HP Neverstop Laser 1202nw review: A great small office choice
peripherals

HP Neverstop Laser 1202nw review: A great small office choice

19 May 2022
Kyocera Ecosys FS-1061DN review: Affordable, but uninspiring
peripherals

Kyocera Ecosys FS-1061DN review: Affordable, but uninspiring

17 May 2022
Oki B432dn review: A masterful mono laser
peripherals

Oki B432dn review: A masterful mono laser

16 May 2022

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Preparing for the 3G sunset
Network & Internet

Preparing for the 3G sunset

18 May 2022
(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security
Careers & training

(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security

17 May 2022