A direct competitor to the Editors’ Choice Dell B3460dn, the Xerox Phaser 3610/DN Printer falls squarely in the same category: workhorse mono laser for a small to mid-size office or workgroup. Like the B3460dn, one of the Xerox printer’s biggest strengths is paper handling, with enough input capacity for extremely heavy-duty print needs by small office standards. It wasn’t as fast as the Dell model on our tests, but it delivered better looking output. That not only counts as a fair trade-off, but, depending on your preferences, it may make the Xerox printer the better fit for your office.
For paper handling, the 3610/DN’s 150-sheet multipurpose tray gives it a slight edge over the B3460dn’s 100-sheet tray, but the two are essentially identical otherwise. Both come with a 550-sheet drawer and duplexer (for two-sided printing) standard, and both let you increase the capacity with up to three additional 550-sheet drawers ($199.99 direct per drawer for the 3610/DN).
That works out to a maximum of 2,350 sheets for the Xerox printer, which is more than enough for heavy-duty use in a small to mid-size office. Neither printer offers any output options, like a finisher or stacker.
Setup and Speed
Setting up the 3610/DN is absolutely standard. The printer is a typical size for its category, at 12.4 by 15.5 by 16.8 inches (HWD) without any extra trays, and it weighs in at 28.7 pounds. Connection choices include USB and Ethernet, with Wi-Fi available as an option ($99.99 direct). With or without Wi-Fi, as long as the printer is connected to your network directly, it also supports printing through the cloud, assuming your network is connected to the Internet, and printing from an iOS or Android phone or tablet over a Wi-Fi access point on your network.
For my tests, I connected the 3610/DN using its Ethernet port and printed from a Windows Vista system. As with an increasing number of duplexing printers, the 3610/DN installs with duplexing on by default, which makes its speed for duplex printing the official speed for our tests. However, I ran the tests with the printer set for simplex (one-sided) printing also, for a more direct comparison to other printers.
Xerox rates the 3610/DN at 47 pages per minute (ppm), which is the speed you should see when printing a text file in simplex mode with little to no formatting. On our tests, (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), it came in at 11.1 ppm for its official speed in duplex mode, and 12.0 ppm in simplex mode.
Both results are on the slow side for the price and rated speed. The Dell B3460dn, for example, managed 15.3 ppm (in its default simplex mode), and the less expensive Editors’ Choice Dell B2360dn managed 15.0 ppm (also in simplex mode). However, both of those printers are notably fast, which is one reason why both are Editors’ Choices.
Output Quality and Other Issues
Although the 3610/DN can’t match the B3460dn for speed, it does significantly better for output quality. Depending on your needs, you may consider that far more important.
For text, which is generally the most important kind of output for a mono laser, the 3610/DN is within the range that includes the vast majority of the competition. However, it’s a clear step above the Dell printer, making it good enough for virtually any business need. Graphics quality is at the high end of par, and a close match for the B3460dn. That makes it easily good enough for internal business needs, and potentially good enough for PowerPoint handouts and the like, depending on your level of perfectionism.
Photo quality is surprisingly good for a mono laser. Depending on your level of perfectionism, once again, you may consider it good enough for one-page handouts or the like.
Also demanding mention are two highly useful conveniences for a small office: private printing (which Xerox calls secure printing), and the ability to save jobs in the printer. Private printing lets you send a job to the printer, but keep it from printing until you enter a PIN code at the front panel. This can be handy if you’re printing something you don’t want others to see.
Saving jobs lets you store pages in the printer, like forms that need to be filled out repeatedly, so you can print them quickly and easily with front-panel commands. For this feature to be truly useful however, you need to add the optional Productivity Kit ($349.99 list), which lets the printer store the jobs even if you turn it off.
One minor issue is that the menus on the front panel aren’t as straightforward as they could be, making some options hard to find quickly. However, you can easily print a Menu Map page, which shows you exactly how to navigate to the option you’re looking for.
The Xerox Phaser 3610/DN Printer earns lots of points for its paper handling, better than par output quality overall, and convenience features. It also earns more points for its low claimed running cost, at 1.7 cents per page. If it were just a touch faster, it would likely be Editors’ Choice. Even as it is, however, the Xerox Phaser 3610/DN Printer is a strong candidate for a small to mid-size office with heavy-duty print needs. If you’re more concerned with output quality than speed, it can be a particularly good fit.
|Direct Printing from Cameras||No|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size||Legal|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)||29 (duplex) ppm|
|Color or Monochrome||Monochrome|
|Technology (for laser category only)||Laser|
|Connection Type||USB, Ethernet|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc