Xerox WorkCentre C2424DP review

£1999
Price when reviewed

Naturally, the combination of competent scan and print quality and an easy-to-use control panel makes this a first-class copier too.

The process of scanning could have been complex on a network unit, but here it’s amazingly simple. Originals are either placed face-down on the flatbed platen or loaded into the automatic document feeder (ADF), which can scan both sides at once. Choices are then made as to original type and quality, the destination is chosen and then you just hit Start. The destination is the interesting bit. Scanning jobs can be sent directly to a correctly configured Windows user’s hard disk over the network, or can be stored locally on the built-in 40GB hard disk. Users then retrieve their images, using the embedded server through their normal web browser. Images can be stored in a public folder, or in password-protected folders. Users even have a choice of the format in which scans are retrieved; BMP, JPEG, GIF, TIF and PDF are all offered.

This hard disk is also used to store spooled print jobs. Users can choose to have their job print immediately, to store it on the WorkCentre’s hard disk (where it can be later printed either from the control panel or remotely over the network), or to password-protect jobs. This last option spools the job to the printer but then holds it until the user walks up to the machine and keys in their password.

Administrators have an astonishing level of control using the embedded server. True, privileges can’t be assigned to specific individuals, but you can designate ‘key user’ status to differentiate levels of access from any user on the network. Colour copying can be PIN-locked, and administrators have the option of downloading detailed ink usage and page counts from the system.

Xerox has adopted two distinct pricing structures for this device. You can either choose the traditional model where you purchase consumables as you need them – analogous to mobile phone pay-as-you-go systems – or negotiate a contract with a reseller. In this latter model, you agree a monthly page quota and are charged per page. The reseller will send you as much ink as you need; the benefit to you is that it doesn’t matter whether your office is printing letters or full-colour photos, and you can consequently manage your costs more easily.

We reviewed the mid-range DP model. The WorkCentre C2424DN has a street price of about £1,999, scans at only 300ppi, has only one paper tray, no cart, and only 256MB of RAM as standard, whereas the top of the line DX model (£2,650) adds OCR abilities.

All-in-all, this is an incredibly well-conceived and well-executed system. A3 handling would have been the icing on the cake, and a fax is also notable by its absence, but the quality of the output, the ease of use and of management, plus the excellent solid-ink system, make this an ideal choice for workgroups needing high-quality colour and mono output.

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