GCC Elite 21

For many people on the creative side of Macintosh computing, mono printing is a thing of the past. Colour ink-jet printers, colour laser-printers and other colour options have all become cheaper and higher in quality than before. However, sometimes a mono laser is the right tool for the job. GCC has such a tool in the new Elite 21, a fast, cheap and high-quality mono laser. The Elite is the fastest printer GCC has produced. In the past, it concentrated on high-quality printing rather than competing on speed. The Elite produces crisp text and sharp graphics due to its 1,200-x-1,200 dpi resolution. This is double your average laser printer, and four times as sharp as earlier models. Networking is included in the DN version of the Elite 21. This is in the form of 10/100BaseT ethernet, and it also has USB for connection to a single machine. If you have a Mac you will always be better off connecting via ethernet – any USB-equipped Mac has also got 100BaseT ethernet, which is much faster than USB. Elite class
There are three versions of the Elite 21. The DN version that we tested has a built-in duplex function to enable double-sided printing. The next model up has double the memory at 64MB, the same duplex feature plus a 4GB hard drive for holding spooled print jobs. The real bargain though is the base model that doesn’t include the duplex or other features, but costs just £999. It can still print at a healthy rate, but you don’t pay for frills that aren’t needed. The claimed speedy printing is fast. At a rate of 21 pages per minute, the sheets fly out. If you’re used to printing on a colour laser this will be a shock, as most colour lasers are sluggish even when only printing in monochrome. If you currently use an ink-jet printer, the speed will spin your head. Colour lasers often forget the mono needs of a user. The Elite 21 has enhanced half-toning that makes even photographs look good in monochrome. GCC also has an A3 printer, though not quite as fast as this model.

OUR VERDICT

The DN version of the Elite 21 has a duplex unit attached, which makes it ideal for the small- to medium-sized office. The speed is enough to satisfy most busy offices, and fast enough that graphics pros won’t hold up the print queue. I’d still recommend looking at colour options depending on what you want from your printer. Home offices may well be better off with a sturdy ink-jet printer, and the graphics crowd might push for a colour. But for just about every other office, the Elite 21 DN will fit the bill.

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