Panasonic KX-MB1500 review
Panasonic isn’t a name readily associated with printers, but it does have a growing range of laser all-in-one devices. The latest addition is the KX-MB1500, an affordable mono-only entry point into the world of office printing, scanning and copying.
Given the low price, it’s understandably basic. The only connection on the rear is USB (although the KX-MB1520 model adds fax), and the front control panel looks borrowed from the 1980s: orange lettering on black, with a tiny two-line LCD text panel in the middle. Browsing menus is hardly an enjoyable task.
It’s a neat and compact printer, though, with a 150-sheet input tray in the base and an output tray that’s largely hidden beneath the scanning platen. As it is, the paper feeds out of a thin gap that quickly fills, but you can temporarily hitch the platen upwards by an inch or so to make more room for thicker print jobs to emerge.
With documents, the KX-MB1500 performs well. It churned out pages at 17ppm – right on the claimed speed – whether they were letters or complex Excel sheets, and it spat out a single full-page photo in only six seconds.
Alas, while the text quality was fine, photos were poor by laser standards on all quality settings. Solid areas of colour were heavily mottled and showed noticeable striping throughout, and it did a poor job of differentiating the shades of not particularly similar colours. The copier suffered similarly, reproducing very little detail in a test photo and struggling to copy colours with acceptable results.
That’s disappointing, because the scanner is actually very good. Colours are accurate, detail is much better than those copies would suggest, and it isn’t slow either: it scanned a 300ppi photo in 20 seconds. For scanning duties alone, the Panasonic won’t disappoint.
All-in-ones are printers first and foremost, and the KX-MB1500 isn’t a great one. We also don’t have toner costs yet, but wouldn’t expect a particularly low cost per page, given the device itself only costs a few quid more than £100. This price does lend it a certain cost-cutting appeal, and if all you need is a basic device for running off home print jobs, this Panasonic will do that – just don’t expect the results to be worth showing anyone.
|Resolution printer final||600 x 600dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||17PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||360 x 360 x 203mm (WDH)|
|Mono print speed (measured)||17.0ppm|
|Colour print speed||N/A|
|Input tray capacity||150 sheets|
|SD card reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|USB flash drive support?||no|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|