Colour laser printers for small business or workgroup use are continuing to drop in price and it’s now possible to find models at around the £400 mark. Konica Minolta has joined the fray with the 2450, a carousel-based printer with a couple of interesting twists.
The printer is substantial in size, but could still be used on a desktop. It has a 200-sheet paper tray which projects from its front, while paper feeds into the top surface of the machine, once you’ve unfolded its cover. An optional 500-sheet input tray can be fitted underneath.
A two-line LCD display shows status and menu text, but would benefit greatly from some form of backlight. Even under good overhead lighting, contrast is poor. A ring of control buttons, plus one to cancel a running job, are positioned next to the display.
The 2450 comes with parallel, USB 2 and 10/100Mbps Ethernet connections as standard, so you can share it across a network straight out of the box. There’s also a PictBridge socket at the front for connecting a digital camera. This is an innovation on a colour laser printer and demonstrates that photo print quality is now considered an important feature of this technology.
The Windows driver provides all the usual support, including page imposition and watermarks, though there’s no specific colour-matching software. There is support, however, for the optional duplexing unit which enables automatic printing on both sides of the paper.
A carousel mechanism, as opposed to an in-line one, mounts the four colour cartridges for cyan, magenta, yellow and black toner on a rotating carousel and builds up a colour page by passing the paper under it four times, once for each colour. The advantage is a more compact machine, but the technique can also mean slower print.
In the case of the Konica Minolta 2450, we printed a five per cent cover, black text page in 26 seconds, and a 20 per cent colour one in… exactly the same 26 seconds, giving 2.3ppm. These speeds aren’t particularly impressive. The printer is supplied with the four toner cartridges and the photoconductor drum already fitted, which makes setup a doddle.
Print costs work out at 2p for a black page and 8.6p for a colour, both of which are competitive, though not the best in their field. Print quality is very good, with clean black text and well-balanced colours, even on taxing photo images.
Company: Konica Minolta
Contact: 08702 416900