The latest addition to the Phaser family of Xerox business lasers, the Phaser 6250 can print in high resolution at an impressive 24 pages per minute. More than that, it can print both monochrome and colour pages at this speed with the first page appearing, on average, in under 12 seconds. It’s also an easy printer to setup, maintain and manage, with built-in networking support. Plus it’s priced at less than the 20ppm Phaser 6200 it replaces.
The new Phaser looks a lot like the older product, with a similar compact desktop casing complete with a 500-sheet A4 paper tray in the base. A fold-down, 100-sheet, multi-purpose feeder is also included to handle card, transparencies, labels and suchlike, plus there’s a choice of extra add-on feeders. Total capacity is 1,600 sheets and a duplexer can also be specified for double-sided printing, although if you want stacking or finishing options you’ll need to look elsewhere.
That’s the only real drawback, however, with lots of good things to be said about this printer, starting with the ease and speed with which it can be deployed. The four colour toner cartridges, for example, are clearly located under a transparent cover on top and come ready-installed. So, all you have to do is take the printer out of the box and pull off the sealing strips. That done, all that’s required is to connect it to the network and run the setup program on CD-ROM, to find the printer on the LAN and install the requisite drivers automatically.
PCL and PostScript emulators come as standard and as well as a fast, 700MHz, PowerPC processor to drive the laser engine, there’s a useful 128MB of memory as standard. That’s enough for most document types, although graphics professionals can upgrade to 512MB if necessary. Engine resolution is 2,400 x 600 dots per inch, which with software enhancement gives high quality results. That said, the Phaser 6250 is best suited to life as a general purpose printer, handling a mix of monochrome and colour documents on an office network.
On the networking side there’s an internal print server with a built-in 10/100Mbps Ethernet interface. Multi-protocol support also comes as standard, enabling the Phaser 6250 to be shared on mixed Windows, Apple, Unix/Linux and Novell NetWare LANs.
Performance really is impressive, added to which the Phaser 6250 proves to be an easy printer to live with. Changer toner cartridges is easy and clean and like most lasers there’s an LCD panel at the front for local setup and management. However, unlike most lasers, this displays an impressive amount of information and is surprisingly easy to get to grips with. Not that you should ever need to use it as the Xerox laser also features one of the best designed and most intuitive Web interfaces you’ll find. Plus you get a complete set of CentreWare tools for remote Windows, Unix/Linux, NetWare and Intranet management.
Apart from the lack of finishing options it’s hard to fault the Phaser 6250, which sets a new standard for colour business lasers in terms of speed, ease of use and price. That said, this is a very competitive market and it may not be the leader of the pack for long.
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