Color Laser Printers in the Major Comparison Test

Test: color laser printers have become compact and cheap. PC WORLD tests entry-level models for the Home Office and small business.

The prejudice that color laser printers are too large for the desktop is no longer correct. Because manufacturers have now managed to build that the printer can be quite at home make up the four color printing works so compact. They are ideal, when in addition to a high page output to black-and-white text printing occasionally even colored paper to come. Also, the color laser printers have become affordable. But the purchase price is not decisive. Rather clarifies the test, how much power you get for your money, and what costs each coming at you.

Who buy a laser printer, wants to hold fast in hands of his prints. In black and white printing, color devices are as fixed as their black and white counterparts. While some like the Canon I-SenSys LBP7018C with multi-pass printing technology work. However, most test candidates put on the single-pass process. In more elaborate printing is in addition to the printing technology, but mainly, how quickly the printer prepares the data. So called GDI (graphics device interface) devices use the connected computer. The brotherHL-3142CW serves as a current example. Already longer in the test are the Canon I-SenSys LBP7018C and the Ricoh Aficio SP C240DN.

Alternatively, color laser printer process the data with the help of printer languages PCL (printer command language) or PS (PostScript). In the test box are the models of Lexmark CS310dn, Oki C321dn and Xerox Phaser 6600V/DN. The Xerox Phaser 6022V/NI opts for PCL, has deposited but PS fonts to the printer. The HP LaserJet Pro M252dw is supplied from the factory the PCL driver. PS 3 are available by universal print driver (UPD), extra must be downloaded from the HP website. The Samsung ProXpress C3010ND emulates both PCL and PS, uses Samsung’s proprietary language SPL-C but at the same time. Canon i-SenSys LBP712Cx brings in turn both emulations. PostScript is however very harmonious colors generated when color documents usually at the expense of speed, as shown in the test.

Quality text and color

The color laser printer’s strength lies in the quality of the text print. Here, differences are only clear to prove if one uses tools such as a high resolution camera. Tiny portions of a printed page can be so much larger that weaknesses will be visible. In the test, the Oki C321dn, Lexmark models are CS310dn, Samsung ProXpress C3010ND and currently the Canon i-SenSys LBP712Cx with particularly clear-cut letters noticed. Fine, the color laser models Brother HL-3142CW, HP LaserJet Pro M252dw, 6022V/NI and Xerox Phaser 6600V/DN are the letters on the paper.

In the color printing, the test candidates produce often dark colors. This interferes with printing of presentations or Web pages of less. Photos then but easily lose details. But mostly you can brighten up the colors in the print settings directly into the driver or utility. Some devices such as the model of Oki C321dn, the “color enhance” was enabled at the factory in the driver. It has been switched off, the prints were darker.

Larger areas are another hurdle. Here produce some printers such as the Brother HL-3142CW strips or small spots. Homogeneous surfaces, however, reach the printers from Canon, HP, Lexmark, Samsung and Xerox. With high colour fidelity, the printers from HP, Lexmark, Xerox and Ricoh stand out in the test.

Costs: color pages often more expensive than in the ink

Stubbornly, the opinion holds, laser printers are much cheaper than ink jet equipment maintenance. That does not necessarily confirmed in the test, even if different ISO documents are based the range measurements. In the examined color laser printers cost the black and white side between 2.9 and 4.8 cents. That is absolutely comparable with the pure black and white laser printers. A color page comes to 11.7 up 19.2 cents.Such prices can not infrequently beaten inkjet multifunction devices. Samsung at the ProXpress C3010ND makes a splash. Replacement cartridges with ranges of black and white 8000 and 5000 color pages fit into the printer. So he comes on very interesting page prices – 1.4 cents for the black and white and 7.6 cents for the coloured sheet.These prices may further undercut the Canon i-SenSys LBP712Cx at least for the color page: here it comes to 3 cents – currently unbeatably cheap.

When replacing the toner cartridges, it is always expensive. However, less ink coverage often sufficient just for color laser printer. With the setting “Sound save mode” in the driver therefore actually lots of money can be saved. And the best: all printers of the test field to bring an appropriate mode.

Good there satisfactory grades for power consumption. However, the printer Brother HL-3142CW, Oki C321dn and Canon I-SenSys LBP7018C pull power also switched off.Power consumption in sleep mode, however the brother model at the same time keeps the best fit with 0.6 Watt. Among them is currently no other test candidate. Pity is that the models of Samsung ProXpress C3010ND and Canon i-SenSys LBP712Cx still 0.1 Watt after pressing the off button – a very small value, the color laser printer cost but important points in the consumption rating.

Operating noise: No carpets

If the color laser printer is available on the desk, he should work as quietly. Completely avoid the mechanical noise in operation cannot be however. That is why it depends on, how quickly a color laser by mode in sleep mode switches. HP achieved in the LaserJet Pro M252dw exemplary: the current color laser shuts down shortly after the completion of the print job on almost soundless State. This is comfortable. Ricoh Aficio SP C240DN proves to be as a largest noise maker currently: he is noisy in operation and humming is audible even in idle mode.

Conclusion: color lasers are not photo specialists everyday use, but

The tested color lasers are fit for everyday printing. Texts there to criticize little. The color is solid, as long as it is not photos. Here inkjet printers continue to deliver better quality. Color laser can also not borderless print or deal with photo papers. However, toner is not aging. This is beneficial if you print irregularly. Because the print quality remains constant even with “old toners”.

Are in the trend colour laser printer with Wi-FI and Wi-Fi direct will show how the Xerox Phaser 6022V/NI and HP LaserJet Pro M252dw devices. However, they also embody how different the printer still on the mobile print from your Smartphone or Tablet are prepared. While the Xerox model consistently slightly to awkward dealing with the topic, the HP printer offers good solutions for mobile printing. The Brother HL-3142CW even completely omitted on the LAN interface and instead relies on Wi-FI.

Test winner: The color laser printer Canon i-SenSys LBP712Cx meets the own default: it is designed for high throughput and also equipped for it. Duplex printing in the driver is enabled at the factory. You can keep this quiet so that the pace in this mode is impressive. In small companies, the Canon i-SenSys LBP712Cx loosely accepts all printing needs. He delivers good quality, thereby causing moderate cost per page. Especially when you insert the toner with high ranges. However, you need to invest slightly more even earlier for the device.

Price-performance-winner: Canon I-SenSys LBP7018C : The rather elderly Canon color laser model is suitable for users who are looking for a printer, which can be placed easily on the desk. However should print only occasionally, because the cost per page are too high – both black and white and color prints for high throughput.