Kyocera Mita – FS-1100 review

personal mono laser printer
Photo of Kyocera Mita – FS-1100

Personal laser printers have enjoyed something of a renaissance in the last year or so, as their prices have continued to fall and many people have added a second printer to the inkjet all-in-one they may already have.

The reason for this is that mono laser print is still noticeably cheaper and quicker than mono inkjet print. Kyocera Mita can build on this cost difference, thanks to its unique drum technology, which lasts the full life of the printer. You should never need to change the drum on even this modestly priced FS-1100, so you only pay to replenish toner.

The simple but smart lines of the FS-1100 mix the standard cream with a nearly as standard dark, slate grey. On top of the printer there’s an interestingly designed circular indicator panel, with six orange and green LEDs, indicating status conditions such as low toner or paper and paper jams. There’s also a triangular end stop for the paper that outputs to the top cover of the printer. A rather gimmicky small window underneath the end stop shows the number of the toner cartridge.

The main paper tray takes up to 250 sheets and there’s a single-sheet feed slot above this for special media. At the back is a single socket for USB connection, though you can add a network adapter and a second paper tray as optional extras. Setup is very simple, though you do have to wait for a one-off toner charging cycle of around seven minutes when you first clip in the printer’s toner cartridge and switch on.

Kyocera Mita rates the FS-1100 at 28ppm in draft mode, but in normal print we only managed 16ppm printing text and slightly less than this with text and graphics. A single 15 x 10cm photo print took 15 seconds. These speeds are all about average for a laser printer in this price bracket, but considerably better than for a typical inkjet at a similar price.

Print quality is generally very good, something to do with the true resolution of the machine being 1,200dpi. Many mono lasers at this price have a core resolution of 600dpi and use software interpolation to mimic the higher level. Text is dark and dense, with no signs of spatter or jagged edges and greyscales are smooth, with only slight banding.

All you have to pay for is toner and although a 4,000-page toner cartridge costs just under £50, the cost per page works out at 2p including paper, which is reasonable.

Company: Kyocera Mita

Contact: 0845 710 3104

This is a serviceable, personal mono laser which just gets on with the job. There are few bells and whistles with this machine, but you do get high quality black print at a good speed and costing no more than its main rivals. A cut in the price of its toner cartridge would make it even more attractive.