Xerox Phaser 7100N review
An affordable A3 colour laser with nippy speeds, reasonable running costs and exceptional colour quality
Review Date: 30 Jan 2013
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £749 (£899 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
When it comes to low-cost A3 laser printing, Oki is king of the hill – but now Xerox wants a piece of the action. The latest Phaser 7100N delivers high-resolution, large-format colour printing for less than £800.
It beats Oki’s C822n for speed with a faster 30ppm for colour and mono A4 prints. Xerox doesn’t quote A3 speeds, but we clocked it in the labs at 18ppm – that’s 5ppm faster than the C822n.
Printing costs are similar, with A4 colour and mono pages costing 8.1p and 1.8p – but check out the PagePack contracts, which offer fixed quarterly charges based on your estimated usage and cover consumables and maintenance too.
We like the new toner cartridges: they’re compact, less messy than Oki’s combo units, and much easier to fit. As for capacity, there’s a 250-sheet tray to start with, which can expand with up to three more 550-sheet trays (£254 exc VAT each).
The 7100N performed well in our speed tests, although you have to be careful which way the paper is stacked. With the long side facing the paper path, a 30-page Word document returned 30ppm; turning the paper through 90 degrees saw this drop to 24ppm.
Our 24-page DTP-style document was produced in Standard mode at 30ppm. Changing the PostScript driver to Photo mode didn’t harm speed; the time to first page for all tests was rarely more than ten seconds.
Output quality won’t disappoint, either. Text was pin sharp across a wide range of font sizes; mono photos delivered high levels of detail; and colour quality was exceptional, with smooth gradients across complex colour fades and no banding in photos.
The 7100N costs £65 more than Oki’s C822n, but this gets you faster print speeds and superior colour quality. With very similar running costs, we have no hesitation in recommending the 7100N as our new favourite A3 colour laser.
Author: Dave Mitchell
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