Phaser 8560DN review

Solid ink printers aren’t new, but costs have been creeping downwards from the astronomical to the merely painful. The solid ink process is now at the same price point that colour lasers were five years ago, which makes it an affordable proposition for professional users.

The 8560 isn’t a small printer, so you’ll need a sizeable area of free desk space to give it a home. The box recommends two people to do the heavy lifting, although it is possible for one person to manage on their own. Set up is slightly quirky. Connectors, including power, are behind a flap at the rear side. This keeps them tidy, more or less, but also means you can’t cycle the power with the flap in place.

Driver installation was painless, and once running the printer reveals a good combination of print speed and quality. Compared to a laser, printing starts almost instantly with no extended processing pauses. Throughput for colour and black and white is similar and close to the quoted 30ppm. Colour saturation and detail are good across a range of media, although the melted waxy output creates an unusual raised look.

Running costs aren’t low. A complete quad-pack of inks costs upwards of £120, and it’s easy to imagine busy offices getting through that in four to eight weeks. Most A4 inkjets and lasers will be cheaper to run, but if you need quality and speed, the results may justify it.

The 8560 range is slightly complex. Our review unit was the DN, which prints on both sides of the paper automatically. The N costs around £100 less for single-sided printing. DT and DX models add extra paper trays, hard disks and more memory.

Xerox is promising to plant 50 trees for every printer sold, which is a nice green gesture. An intelligent power-saving mode attempts to guess when to go into stand-by – for example, over lunch. We’d be more impressed if you could turn the printer into compost when you’d finished with it – but it all helps.

OUR VERDICT

Although both the initial price and running costs are high, the benefits of speed, print quality and colour control are obvious. This is a professional printer for professional users. In budget conscious times, A4 output at this high price limits it to corporates and small-to-medium business.

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