Epson – AcuLaser C3000 review

duplexing colour laser printer
Photo of Epson – AcuLaser C3000
£530 + VAT

When it comes to desirable standards in printers, the usual wish list includes reliability, speed and volume of printing, relatively low costs, versatility of printable media and of course the quality of the finished product.

Epson has built a deserved reputation for achieving many of these goals from simple desktop mono printers to high-end network workhorses. The AcuLaser C3000 is aimed squarely at small businesses and workgroups who are looking for an efficient way to produce relatively large quantities of material on a daily basis.

You certainly know this beast means business as the packaging recommends two people to carry it into place (it weighs a satisfying 35.5kg). The simple but clear preparation manual shows you how to enable the toners and literally drop in the print engine with the minimum of effort. One minor gripe, though, is that the necessary USB 2.0 cable isn’t provided.

Under the hood is a 133MHz processor with a basic memory of 64MB (which is expandable to 576MB). Epson claims it’s the fastest printer in its class, employing its home grown AcuLaser Color 2400 Resolution Improvement Technology (600 x 600 dpi) to produce up to 24ppm (pages per minute) in colour and monochrome and up to 15.1ppm in colour and monochrome duplex – printing on both sides of the paper.

Epson is equally proud of the unit’s start-to-print speed of 13.5 seconds – and rightly so as tests showed both speed and quality were just like they said on the packet.

16 different paper sizes are supported, from A4, Letter and B5 to EXE, DL and C10, and normal input capacity is 600 sheets (100 in the multi-purpose tray plus a 500-sheet tray), although you can have an additional two 500-sheet paper cassettes. The maximum monthly output is in the region of 60,000 pages, which is roughly equivalent to 60 copies of Lord of the Rings.

The biggest saving is clearly on cost, as the roughly 1p per page for either colour or monochrome is similar to many monochrome-only laser printers, most of which are lacking the useful duplex facility. With all the usual Epson warranties and back-up support, you’d be hard pressed to find better performance for the money.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a network version available, the Epson AcuLaser C3000N, which comes with Ethernet 10/100 Base Tx networking capability, but will set you back around £740 plus VAT.

Company: Epson

Contact: 08702 416900


Verdict
If you're running a medium-sized business and feel it's time to upgrade your creaking monochrome printers, this is an efficient and cost-saving package that is built to last, with the added benefit of colour and duplexing.