IT Pro Verdict
Speedy mono text performance
Wired and wireless networking as standard
Underwhelming graphics performance
If you’re looking for a compact mono laser to serve a home office or small workgroup, you may want to add Xerox’s B230 to your shopping list. While it’s still big and bulky compared to sleeker inkjet models like the Canon Pixma TS6250, this machine is actually reasonably petite for a laser printer, weighing in at just 6.8kg with a 355 x 333mm footprint. As with almost all lasers, however, the design is uninspiring to say the least.
Rated at 34 pages per minute (ppm), the device is well equipped: it includes wired and wireless networking as standard, plus a useful two-line mono display. This isn’t as versatile as the large, full-colour touchscreens used by the likes of the Canon MAXIFY GX70505 - but then again, that’s less of an issue considering there aren’t as many features to manage. As a mono laser, the B230 is very much a one-trick pony; there’s no scanning or copying facility, no fax, and no colour graphics or photos.
This printer’s 250-sheet cassette is supplemented by a single-sheet slot. Once loaded with A4 paper, the tray pokes slightly out of its rear panel, but fortunately there’s a flap to keep dust off. During setup, Xerox’s software failed if we chose the recommended Type 4 Print System. We couldn’t divine why this might be, but fortunately it wasn’t a significant issue, as the alternative Type 3 Print System worked perfectly adequately.
It’s clear from the minute or so it takes to boot that this printer has reasonable brains behind it – it’s loading a full-on operating system, rather than relying on simple logic - but our results suggest it would benefit from a faster processor. While it danced through our 25-page text test at a sprightly 27.3ppm, it hesitated between some pages in our graphical test, slowing it down to a less impressive 20.6ppm. At 11.8 images per minute (ipm) it was fast enough at duplex-printing graphics.
While this printer is quick for a typical small or home office, you might be more put off by the B230’s slight clatter during printing and its underwhelming print quality. Black text was near perfect, but mono graphics suffered from more banding than we’d expect at this price. It’s also a shame that the B230 has no front USB port to support direct printing.
The B230 arrives with a 1,200-page starter toner and a drum rated for 12,000 pages. If you never need to replace the latter, you’ll pay 2p per page to keep printing. Factor in the drum, and ongoing print costs rise to 2.4p per page which, while hardly excessive, are a penny or more off the best.
If you can live without Wi-Fi, we’d recommend paying a little more for the £200 exc VAT Oki B432dn, which includes a three-year warranty (as opposed to Xerox’s one-year onsite warranty), faster speeds, better print quality and lower running costs. With that being said, however, the Xerox B230 is one of the most affordable lasers out there - and if all you need is a workhorse to chew through reams of black-and-white text documents, it’s an excellent value option.
Xerox B230 specifications
|Format||600 x 600dpi A4 mono laser printer|
|Display||Two-line mono LCD|
|Networking||Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi|
|Tray size||250-sheet cassette|
|Recommended monthly duty cycle||30,000 (max)|
|Dimensions||355 x 333 x 215mm|
After a brief career in corporate IT, Simon Handby combined his love of technology and writing when he made the move to Computer Shopper magazine. As a technology reviewer he's since tested everything from routers and switches, to smart air fryers and doorbells, and covered technology such as EVs, TVs, solar power and the singularity.
During more than 15 years as Shopper's long-time printer reviewer, Simon tried, tested and wrote up literally hundreds of home, small office and workgroup printers. He continues reviewing smart products and printers for a variety of publications, and has been an IT Pro contributor since 2010. Simon is almost never happier than when surrounded by printers and paper, applying his stopwatch and a seasoned eye to find the best performing, best value products for business users.