Epson AcuLaser C1100 review

£174
Price when reviewed

With its boxy looks and unremitting noise, the Epson AcuLaser C1100 doesn’t make the world’s best first impression. It’s designed for small workgroups who occasionally need colour printing rather than single users or home offices, and it shows. It’s big, for a start, and a rather antisocial desktop companion.

Epson AcuLaser C1100 review

Printing out our 20-page test document drowned out nearby conversation, and the ker-CHUNK of loading another sheet into the feeder is similarly loud. In terms of TCO, it’s actually remarkably cheap in the short term, but hit 4,000 pages and the costs rockets from £200 to nearly £500.

It has its strengths, though. You can take the maximum paper capacity from 180 sheets to 500 sheets by buying additional paper trays, for instance, and add automatic duplexing, albeit for £200. If you find yourself constantly refilling the trays, or are responsible for kitting out a growing office, this could be an excellent choice. Those with older equipment might also note the inclusion of a parallel port. Networking is missing, though.

The benefits continue with print speed. In monochrome mode the C1100 hit 27ppm, making it the fastest workgroup mono printer we’ve seen. Its time to produce a first page was also impressive at only nine seconds. There was no sign of struggle with our difficult 24-page DTP document: the C1100 ploughed through at 5ppm, hinting at the wealth of processing power under the lid. With the driver set to produce colour documents, the four-pass print engine showed its weakness, though, slowing to just 5ppm. Some rival machines, such as the Dell 1320cn, ran the same test at 13ppm.

The C1100 is fairly middling for image quality, which is no bad thing. Text was crisp and we saw no problems with text printed on a coloured background. The only place it failed to keep up was with our photo quality test. Skin tones were rendered too warmly, suggesting those looking for perfect colour accuracy should look elsewhere.

Since the C1100 was introduced there have been all manner of technological refinements, which is why some rival machines, like the Dell, cost almost £50 less. But if you’re looking to kit out an office with a high-speed mono printer for occasional colour jobs without breaking the bank, the Epson is a decent choice.

Details

Speed rating 5

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 600 x 600dpi
Rated/quoted print speed 25PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function no

Consumables

Monthly duty cycle 45,000 pages
Standard mono toner life 4,000 pages
High-yield mono toner life 4,000 pages
Standard colour toner life 1,500
High-yield colour toner life 4,000 pages
Supplied mono toner life 1,500 pages
Supplied colour toner life 1,500

Power and noise

Peak noise level 53.0dB(A)
Dimensions 400 x 422 x 378mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption 257W
Idle power consumption 16W

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured) 27ppm
Colour print speed 5ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 180 sheets
Output tray capacity 200 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? no
Bluetooth connection? no
WiFi connection? no
PictBridge port? no
Other connections Parallel

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported? yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported? yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported? yes

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