Xerox WorkCentre 6605N Color Multifunction Printer review

The Xerox WorkCentre 6605N Color Multifunction Printer is a solid workhorse color laser MFP with good output quality when you use its default PostScript driver.

The Xerox WorkCentre 6605N Color Multifunction Printer ($999 direct) is the same as the Xerox WorkCentre 6605DN Color Multifunction Printer, except that it lacks the latter’s auto-duplexer. That makes it a good workhorse color laser MFP designed for small workgroups. It provides good output quality when you use its default PostScript driver. The printer’s PCL driver has to be installed separately, and—though faster—it’s no match for the PostScript in print quality.

The 6605N can print, copy, fax, and scan. It has a front-facing USB port that fits a USB thumb drive that you can print from or scan to. You can scan to email or network folder, and it offers LAN faxing from your PC or walkup faxing using the printer’s control panel. These functions are controlled with 4.3-inch color touch screen. A 50-sheet reversing automatic document feeder (ADF) lets you scan, copy, and fax multipage documents.

The white-and-blue 6605N measures 20 by 16.9 by 20.8 inches (HWD), too large to put on a desk, and weighs 71 pounds. It has a standard paper capacity of 700 sheets, split between a 550-sheet main train and a 150-sheet multipurpose tray. An optional second 550-sheet tray ($299 direct) is available, to bring the maximum paper capacity to 1,250 sheets.

PostScript and PCL Drivers
During setup, you’re offered two printer drivers (PostScript and PCL6), with checkboxes next to each.  The PostScript driver is marked as recommended, and the box next to it is already checked. The PCL driver’s box is empty, so to install it, you have to check the box beside it yourself. If you install both drivers, the PostScript driver will be set as the default, though you can change that later.

The 6605N provides USB and Ethernet (including Gigabit Ethernet) connectivity; an optional Wi-Fi adapter is available for $99 (direct). I tested it over a wired network with its drivers installed on a PC running Windows Vista.

Testing and Print Speed

I ran our official tests using the PostScript driver, as it is both the recommended driver and the only one that installs automatically. (We do our testing using default settings, as in our experience they are the ones that users are most likely to use.) That said, I also did some testing using the PCL driver. As is typical for printers with those two drivers, the PCL was faster (I timed it in simplex mode at 9.1 ppm), but its output quality, for photos and especially for graphics, was inferior to the PostScript. Although the PCL driver may be suitable for quickly printing drafts of documents in situations where output quality is unimportant, Xerox clearly did the right thing in making the PostScript the recommended and default driver.

On our business applications test suite (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing),  I timed the 6605N using the PostScript driver at 5.7 pages per minute (ppm). Its rated speed, based on printing text documents without graphics or photos, is up to 36 ppm. (Our test suite includes text pages, graphics pages, and pages with mixed content. I timed the Editors’ Choice Lexmark X548dte, rated at 25 pages per minute, at 7 ppm, also in simplex mode. The Editors’ Choice Dell C3765dnf, rated at 23 pages per minute, tested at 8.2 ppm in duplex mode, and the Xerox 6605DN in duplex mode using its PostScript driver at 4.8 ppm. (As the 6605N lacks an auto-duplexer, it can be used in simplex (one-sided) mode only.)

Output Quality
The 6605N provides above-average overall output quality, with average text, above-par graphics, and slightly above-par photo quality. Text is fine for most any business use short of desktop publishing applications that require very small fonts. Graphics are fine for PowerPoint handouts, including ones intended for people you seek to impress, and even basic marketing materials. Photo quality is fine for company newsletters, and maybe for basic marketing materials, depending on how picky you are. When I switched to the PCL driver, output quality for both photos and graphics suffered.

Xerox’s claimed running costs for the 6605N, including toner and other consumables, are 2.9 cents per monochrome page and 15.3 cents per color page. The Dell C3765dnf’s claimed running costs, based on a similar set of consumables, are 1.5 cents per monochrome page and 10 cents per color page, while the Lexmark X548dte’s claimed running costs are 1.6 cents per monochrome page and 11 cents per color page.

The Xerox WorkCentre 6605N provides good output quality and brings all the features of the Xerox 6605DN except the auto-duplexer for $100 less. If you know you won’t need the duplexer, it will save you some money. It is worth a close look by workgroups needing a color MFP for PostScript use, though its speed was unimpressive. If you don’t need PostScript, there are faster choices, like the Dell C3765dnf, that provide good output quality.

More Multi-function Printer Reviews:

Specifications
Print Duplexing No
Standalone Copier and Fax Copier, Fax
Printer Category Laser
Direct Printing from Cameras No
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Color) 36 ppm
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono) 36 ppm
Maximum Standard Paper Size Letter
Color or Monochrome 1-pass color
Technology (for laser category only) Laser
Connection Type USB, Ethernet, Wireless

Verdict
The Xerox WorkCentre 6605N Color Multifunction Printer is a solid workhorse color laser MFP with good output quality when you use its default PostScript driver.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc