• Review of the Ricoh SP 5300DN Black and White Laser Printer at PCMagPROS

    Reasonably fast. Good print quality overall. Multiple paper capacity and other expansion options. High, 250,000-page duty cycle. Strong security features. High-yield toner cartridge. Very low running costs.

  • CONS

    Expensive, with costly add-ons. Small, unimpressive control panel. Graphics and photos print slightly too dark.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Ricoh SP 5300DN is a highly capable high-volume single-function monochrome laser printer that produces quality output at reasonably fast speeds, and its low running costs make it a good value for offices that print in volume.

Similar in features, speed, and capacity options to our Editors’ Choice Dell Smart Printer S5830dn ($641.71 at Amazon), the Ricoh SP 5300DN Black and White Laser Printer ($1,229) ($767.77 at Amazon) is a single-function laser printer designed for medium- to high-volume printing in small to midsize offices and workgroups. The Ricoh 5300DN costs a little more than the Dell S5830dn, but it’s significantly smaller and lighter and has more expansion options, and it costs less to use. On the other hand, during testing, graphics and photo output came out slightly subpar—just enough to keep it from receiving our Editors’ Choice nod. Not enough, though, to keep the Ricoh 5300DN from being an excellent choice for churning out thousands of documents each month in busy, high-volume settings.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Brother HL-L8350CDW Review and RatingsIf your small or medium-size business (SMB) doesn’t print a lot, you might find yourself wondering at the wisdom of springing for a relatively expensive single-function laser printer, especially considering all the (often less expensive) multifunction machines available these days that can print, scan, copy, and (in some cases) fax. Still, plenty of offices rely heavily enough on their printers, churning out hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages each month. In these heavy-use environments, these companies often can’t afford the downtime caused by the printer receiving the occasional fax or making copies now and then.

That’s where high-volume, single-function laser printers come in, like the subject of this review, Brother’s $399.99-list HL-L8350CDW color laser. All this machine does is print, but it does so quickly, with excellent overall print quality, and at a competitive cost per page, or CPP, compared to several other midlevel machines in this price range. However, a handful of high-volume inkjets using new or relatively new inkjet technologies, such as Epson’s new PrecisionCore-based WorkForce models and HP’s PageWide-based Officejet X machines have even lower CPPs. (So do a few office-centric all-in-ones with more traditional inkjet printheads, such as Epson’s WorkForce Pro WP-4590).

Brother HL-L8350CDW (Angle View)If, as we discuss a little later in this review in the Setup & Paper Handling section, you print a lot, your printer’s estimated CPP can be critical. If you’re willing to spend a little more up front for the printer, though, you can often reduce the cost per page significantly—thereby saving you or your company a good chunk of change over the life of the printer.

However, despite the excellent quality of many of today’s high-volume inkjet printers, some applications (for example, medical and some other agencies that do business with certain branches of the government) require laser printers, or laser-class LED machines. If for some reason your office or workgroup scenario requires laser-class devices, the HL-L8350CDW is a good choice.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.


 

HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer M251nw Review and Ratings

After our recent in-depth look at HP’s stellar new OfficeJet Pro X line of high-volume inkjet printers, we’re now finding it difficult to get all that excited about a single-function color laser machine of any stripe. Built around the printer giant’s new “PageWide” stationary-printhead technology, the OfficeJet Pro X inkjets are equal to, if not superior to, small-office and workgroup color lasers in several ways—but most of all when it comes to the per-page cost of consumables. Competition in the entry- and mid-level business-printer market just got fiercer. A color laser printer needs to be pretty remarkable on several fronts to impress, now.

In fact, the introduction of PageWide-based printers into the business-printer market will most likely cause printer makers, including HP, to reevaluate their color laser pricing and positioning. Recently released color laser models, such as the $329.99-MSRP HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer M251nwwe’re reviewing here, may well get caught in the crossfire.

Like its multifunction sibling, the $449.99-MSRP HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color MFP M276nw we reviewed a few weeks ago, the M251nw is capable enough in terms of print quality and speed. We liked these printers well enough in isolation, but the far-too-high cost per page (CPP) of their toner makes them impractical for small offices, small businesses, and workgroups that have more than modest print-volume requirements.HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer M251nw

In short, the M251nw costs too much to use. That’s too bad, because it performed respectably on our benchmark speed tests, and we have no complaints about its print quality. However, we did find its lack of an automatic duplexer for printing two-sided pages disappointing. It’s not often that we see an over-$300 printer these days come without support for unassisted two-sided printing. Also concerning was this model’s somewhat small—small for a laser printer, that is—150-sheet input drawer.

In fact, the more we consider it, the more M251nw looks to us like a “personal” color laser printer in a high-volume printer’s body—because the biggest trait of personal lasers, when it comes right down to it, is that they are designed not to be used all that much. That’s at odds with HP’s recommended maximum monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages for this printer. But if you print that many pages (or even close) on the M251nw, it will cost you plenty extra compared to higher-cost, higher-volume models over time.

In sum, we see the M251nw as a low-volume laser printer, which really is a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to lasers at this price. You can find plenty of lower-cost inkjet models out there that print business documents almost as well—and for less money per page. We liked this machine’s print quality, but given the competition, only small offices and workgroups with very limited print-volume needs will find the M251nw a sensible pick.

See the entire review at Computer Shopper.