The Xerox ColorQube is unlike most colour printers. It’s neither a laser, nor a true inkjet. It’s a big office device with plenty of expansion potential, particularly in terms of the amount of paper it can handle. It’s designed for general office duties – but with colour quality that’s considerably higher than your average laser, it would fit well into a business where graphic print is important.
The white case, with a stylish double-wave design on its top, has a dark blue control panel, complete with a bitmapped, back-lit LCD display and straightforward controls. Below that is a hefty 525-sheet paper tray, with a pull-down, multi-purpose tray above that can take another 100 sheets. If that isn’t enough, you can add up to three further 500-sheet trays as options.
At the back are connectors for USB and Gigabit Ethernet. The power switch is ‘smart’, so it only allows ordered shutdowns. Xerox recommends you leave the printer on all the time, though in standby it still consumes about 45W.
Piezo inkjet printers squirt liquid ink cold onto the paper and Xerox ‘solid ink’ printers do much the same, but with a hot, waxy ink. The reason they’re called solid ink is that it’s provided in blocks, which slot into shaped holes under the top cover. You can load several blocks of each colour, and the front one is melted down inside the printer.
Xerox rates the ColorQube 8570/ADN at 40ppm, but we saw it produce a maximum of 25ppm black text in our tests – not quite up to Xerox’s claims, but still pretty quick. The printer’s duplex speed is also well up with those of its laser competitors, at around 22 sides per minute. It takes a little longer to wake from sleep mode at the start of a print job, though, so short jobs may seems slower.
Print quality is very good, with black text crisp and clear and colour being particularly bright – though blues and greens showed a tendency to come through darker than they should. Noise levels are high, with peaks just under 80dBA, quite a bit higher than from similar laser printers, due to the fast paper feed.
Consumable costs also place the printer well against comparable laser printers, at 1.9p for an ISO black page and 10.4p for a colour one. Xerox makes much of the low-carbon footprint of the machine, through the lack of packaging and cartridge materials needed for its consumables. It supplies the ink blocks simply, in a cardboard box.
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- Very easy to maintain, with solid ink blocks.
- High noise levels on paper feed.
The Xerox ColorQube 8570/AND is a fast, expandable office printer, which is inexpensive to run and produces good quality black and colour print. It's print system is well up to comparison with the best laser print can offer and for high-colour prints and proofing, it's a particularly good alternative, though it is noisy.