In the Test: The Best Color Laser Multifunction Printers

A color laser multifunction printer is more than just a printer because it can also copy, scan and fax. The test introduces color laser combos of the beginners class from 300 euros.

The color laser printer has established itself as a helper at the home workplace. If printing alone is not enough, a color laser multifunction printer is an alternative. It can also scan, copy and even fax. Despite the many functions, color laser multifunctional devices are now quite compact. Especially the models of the entry class can be accommodated on the desk or directly beside it.

Among the color laser multifunction devices in the test models use Brother DCP-9017CDW and Xerox WorkCentre 6027V / NIl light emitting diodes (LED) to illuminate, the remaining devices laser beam. The majority of test candidates rely on single-pass printing. At the same time can be found in the entry-level segment, but also multi-pass printing – in the test about the Samsung Xpress C480FW. They lose their speed in color printing, because the colors are transmitted one after the other and not at the same time.

Once you have purchased a color laser multifunction device, you want to use it for several years. During this period, toner and electricity are added to the paper as well as the paper. Just whoever prints and copies a lot should pay attention to the site prices. Cheap black and white pages created in particular the Ricoh SP C250SF with 2.0 cents, if you use the XL-toner of the next higher model C252SF, but also the HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP 477fdn 2.4 cents. At the same time the models are HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP M277dw 3.3 cents or the Dell Color MFP H625cdw 2.6 cents justifiable in the follow-up costs. Among the top 10 devices currently calls the Samsung Xpress C480FW with 3.9 cents the highest maintenance the black toner, the middle class combi boiler Samsung ProXpress C3060FR with 1.4 cents contrast the lowest.

The cost of the ink sheet said Ricoh model is currently 8.0 cents already very low, but the Samsung still undercut ProXpress C3060FR 7.6 cents. With 17.5 cents, the Samsung Xpress C480FW delivers the most expensive coloring page. All test candidates have less charged starter toner. Exception: Dell Color MFP H625cdw. The initial filling of the standard range is equivalent here. Are special starter toner on board, the ranges are from 500 pages per color in the models HP Color Laserjet Pro M177fw, Xerox WorkCentre 6025V / BI and 6015VN / I – these are small quantities. The generous Samsung ProXpress C3060FR is equipped with the toner cartridges for 4000 black-and-white and 2500 colored pages. The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw has its own path: It has not only new cartridges with JetIntelligence, which contribute to a moderate energy requirement thanks to their low melting points. It also comes with a standard black cartridge, which should be for 1500 pages and is limited only by the colors to genuine starter variants with 700 pages each.

For a low power consumption, it is crucial that a device can be completely disconnected from the mains after pressing the switch. This is the case with the majority of test candidates. Exceptions are the Samsung model Xpress C480FW not going below 0.3 watts, and the Dell Color MFP H625cdw, the disabled still draws 0.6 Watts. Even with the machine for the workgroup real switch are not always self-evident as the Samsung ProXpress C3060FR shows the off still draws 0.1 Watts. When power consumption in power saving mode that sets HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP M477fdn currently 0.1 watts the best value. Proper energy-consuming users during the waiting period between print, scan and copy jobs have become rare. On average the consumption is between 3 and 7 watts. As the Xerox Workcentre 6505V / N with 12 Watts is really right.

Sound development in the workplace

Operating noise is also an important selection criterion in color laser multifunctional printers. After all, the journeys stand close to the desk or even on it. Among the test devices, HP devices turn out to be very unpleasant. Here, the fans turn off very quickly when the printing or copying process is completed. Good contrast audible are the Dell models Color MFP E525w and Color MFP H625cdw, the Samsung Xpress C1860FW and ProXpress C3060FR and the multifunction printer Brother DCP-9017CDW. On average, the trend in color laser multifunctional devices is fast switching to energy saving mode. This reduces the noise pollution and at the same time lowers the energy requirement – two birds with one flap.

If the device is quiet for a while, it should wake up again quickly to do the next task. We test this with a text page from the power saving mode. At 14 seconds, the completed the Combined Samsung ProXpress C3016FR fastest. If, however, closely followed by the HPColor Laserjet Pro MFP M277dw with 15 seconds. Also, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn and the Samsung Xpress C1860FW can only take a little more time with 18 seconds. The Ricoh SP C250SF requires the longest time with 43 seconds.

Quality in printing, scanning and copying

In addition to these factors, the quality of prints, scans and copies remains a key buying criterion. Here, breathing is called for, because none of the tested color laser multifunctional printers delivers really bad results in the test. The printing units often come from the single-function area and have already proven their worth. The strength of the combi printers lies in the text print with sharp letters and good cover. In the case of color, the multifunctional devices provide greater differences in quality. This is due not least to the printer language used. PCL 6 is the most popular variant. However, pure GDI printers, which use the Windows computer for page preparation, are on the retreat. PS 3 (Postscript) is only emulated in most cases, such as the Brother DCP-9017CDW.

The test participants also improved in scanning. The quality is sufficient for office tasks.For tasks that require deep focus, color laser multifunction devices are less suitable. The quality of the scanning unit also affects the quality of the copies. Once again, you can rely on your combiner for routine jobs in your workplace. Nevertheless, there are anomalies: For the Samsung Xpress C1860FW scan borderless photos with edge. This means for you: The scan must be processed further after the digitization, in order to get it actually borderless – that is cumbersome. The test results in detail can be found in the test report for each color laser multifunction device. We will briefly present the test winner and the prize-winner.

Test winner: Samsung ProXpress C3060FR

In the test shows the Samsung ProXpress C3060FR that he can do the printing, copying and scanning needs in the working group of several users. This is because the multifunction printer works fast enough, delivers high quality and low costs. The combiner is also suitable for users who do not believe that the creation of individual software solutions is a decisive factor. For them, expandability with optional paper trays may be more important. Then the Samsung model is worth a look, even if the acquisition price appears relatively high in the first moment.

Value for money: Ricoh SP C250SF

With the Ricoh SP C250SF you get a solid built and well-equipped color laser multifunction printer with fax capability that reliably handles the needs of one to three users in printing, copying and scanning. It generates low costs when you use XL cartridges, which the manufacturer specifies only for the model SP C252SF, which should also fit the smaller model. The control panel is not very intuitive, but it offers many adjustment options and a line display. Sound-sensitive users should not place the unit directly next to them. It is too loud in the company. The PCL-6 and PS-3 drivers also work with WLAN control. The mobile printing runs smoothly with the manufacturer’s own app “Ricoh Print Scan” standards such as Apple , however AirPrint or Google Cloud Print does not control the model.