TallyGenicom Intelliprint 8026DN review

£735
Price when reviewed

With the majority of workgroup colour lasers now firmly in the sub-£500 price bracket, the Intelliprint 8026DN initially looks a costly option – that’s until you see the level of features it includes. First up is its very high print speed, with TallyGenicom quoting 35ppm for mono and an impressive 26ppm for colour. There’s much more, as this laser delivers a true 1,200 x 1,200dpi resolution, a fast 533MHz processor and plenty of paper-handling options, all topped off with a built-in duplex unit for double-sided printing.

To achieve these higher colour speeds, printing must be done in a single pass. Oki’s LED printers have always used this method and so does the 8026DN, with the toner cartridges laid out in a neat row at the rear of its mighty chassis. Another benefit of this model is its printing costs, with a mono page costing a low 1.1p per page at 5% coverage and a colour page adding only 6.2p to the bill. If you opt for the C, Y, M value toner pack, you can cut colour costs down to 6p per page, which puts this printer on a par with the A-Listed Lexmark C522n.

Note that the quoted print speeds are only for printing on letter size and not A4. Using the latter saw print speeds drop noticeably. We started with a 35-page basic Word document and saw this complete at 600dpi in 1min 22secs for an average speed of 26ppm – nowhere near the quoted mono speed. Colour printing fared better in the speed stakes, as our 24-page heavily formatted DTP-style document with large graphics and colour photos took 1min 5secs to complete at 600dpi for an average of 22ppm. Moving up to the maximum resolution of 1,200dpi was cause for contemplation, as the 8026DN then took 3mins 40secs to complete the same DTP document – over three times longer.

Print quality isn’t cause for celebration either. Although text was razor sharp at all sizes, colour printing didn’t fare so well. When compared with the Oki C5600n, we found that photographs were lacklustre and bereft of vibrancy. The 8026DN also had some problems handling detail in darker areas of our test pictures, and this applied to mono photos as well. Overall, the Oki C5600n delivers superior colour print quality, even though its top resolution is slightly lower.

The printer is easy enough to set up and, although somewhat basic, the web interface does provide easy access for remote monitoring and management. All printer settings can be accessed and modified from this interface, and you can set access restrictions on the printer’s control panel and keep a close eye on all consumables.

Large workgroups that have a heavy printing requirement will find the 8026DN a solid departmental workhorse with plenty of options to expand its paper capacity. However, colour print quality does leave something to be desired, and a browse through our last colour laser Labs shows businesses with lower demand can do far better for a lot less cash.

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