Epson AcuLaser C3900DN review - Overkill for small businesses but will earn its keep

The C3900DN is one of the older printers in this group, and was originally priced at around £700.00 when we first reviewed it back in 2011. Epson are still selling it for that price on their web site, but because it’s now getting on a bit you can shop around and pick it up online for around £400.00.

It’s also one of the larger printers in this group, measuring 330mm high, 420mm wide and 520 deep. And, rather oddly, the main 250-sheet paper tray slides out of the side of the printer, while the secondary 100-sheet manual paper tray folds down from the front, which means that you’ll need to devote a fair amount of space to it in your office.

It’s also starting to show its age in some ways. There are USB and Ethernet ports on the printer, but no wifi or support for AirPrint. However, the reason that the C3900DN has stuck around for so long is simply that it’s a good, solid workhorse printer. It supports duplex printing, and its maximum monthly duty cycle of 120,000 pages will meet the needs of even larger organizations.

Epson quotes speeds of 30ppm for both mono and colour, although our tests produced speeds closer to 20ppm for mono and 15ppm for colour. Even so, that’s still fast enough for most small businesses, and the print quality was uniformly good, with crisp black text and bold colours for business graphics. There’s also PostScript 3 emulation for designers that require PostScript support.

Epson’s toner cartridges are expensive, but they do provide high yields that help to keep running costs down. You can buy a two-pack of black toner from Epson’s own web site for £164.88, and that should see you through a massive 12,000 pages for a very reasonable 1.4p per page. A full set of colour cartridges will cost a thumping £514.11 – and are only available in one size – but the yield of 6000 pages keeps the long-term cost down to a competitive 8.5p per page. 

OUR VERDICT

It might be overkill for many small businesses – especially self-employed people who work from home – but the C3900DN will earn its keep if you need a fast printer that can handle fairly high volumes of work with competitive running costs.

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