The first outing for Xerox’s colour LED print engine was in Dell’s range of small-footprint colour printers and all-in-ones, launched in 2010. Since then, Xerox has built them into its own range of low-cost devices. The Phaser 6010 now arrives as a smart, smooth, ice-white and translucent blue box, taking up very little room on the desktop.
Fold down the front panel and this now becomes a 150-sheet paper tray, which has a slide-out blue cover, serving the dual purposes of protecting the paper from dust and spills. This acts as a 10-sheet multi-purpose feeder, for envelopes and special media – where all pages end up on the fold-out tray at the top of the printer.
The control panel is surprisingly well-endowed for an inexpensive laser-style printer, with a 2-line by 16-character, backlit LCD display and navigation control ring. At the back are USB and Ethernet connections, though sadly, there’s no wireless support.
The four toner cartridges clip in at the side, once you’ve opened the side cover up. This all takes just a few seconds and the maintenance is then kept to a minimum. The accompanying software is basic in its functionality, but adequate and the driver for the printer is well laid out and easy to use.
Xerox claims the Phaser 610 has print speeds of 15ppm in black and 12ppm in colour, though under testing we saw a maximum of 10ppm in black and only 8ppm in colour. Even so, these speeds are reasonably impressive on a machine at this price.
The 6010 is a 600dpi machine, so black print looks clean and has none of the fuzziness inkjets can show, whilst offering the quality of true laser print, at the same time. Colours are bright and attention-grabbing and there’s good registration of black text over colour fills.
Blues and greens come through a little dark by default, so printing photos, particularly landscape photos (content, not orientation) can mean lost detail in darker areas of images. Photos are never a strong suite for laser printers, though.
Most things in the make-up of this machine are appealing, but not all. Its toner cartridges are pitched at prices which give costs per ISO page of 3p for black (reasonable) and 20p for colour (exorbitant). Compare the colour cost with, for example, 13p from the Brother HL-3040CN colour LED printer and 4p from the Epson Workforce Pro WP-4015DN inkjet. Print more than 700 pages and the Brother is the cheaper machine overall, whilst printing just 170 pages from the Epson offers a lower TCO.
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- Very small footprint for a colour laser-style printer
- Swingeing consumable costs, even for a low-cost machine
The Xerox Phaser 6010 is a neat and well designed LED, colour printer. It prints as well as a colour laser, but costs less to buy although it is both quick and quiet when printing. It all comes down to whether you’re willing to pay 20p a page for colour print.