Xerox Phaser 8400DP review

Price when reviewed

Changing toner cartridges is usually an occupational hazard due to the fact that toner is harmful if inhaled. Xerox’s Phaser 8400DP dispenses with toner and uses solid ink instead. It isn’t anything new, but the process of using ‘ink sticks’ has been refined over the years. These waxy blocks are melted inside the printer, printed directly onto the imaging drum and then transferred onto the paper in a single pass.

Xerox Phaser 8400DP review

The main benefit of this system is the low cost per page. The only consumables in the 8400DP are the ink sticks and a maintenance roller, which ensures good print transfer by pressing the paper against the imaging drum. This leads to a cost per colour page of just 3.4p, and 1.4p per mono page.

Xerox claims up to 24ppm for the 8400DP, but in practice we had to set the driver to draft mode to attain these speeds. This degraded print quality to that of a poor inkjet. Operation in draft mode was also far too noisy. Switching to standard-quality mode resulted in laser-quality text and images, although print speeds were halved to 12ppm. Our Excel test printed at 11ppm, while our Word DTP document printed at 13ppm. Our four-page PDF didn’t phase the 8400DP, and printed at a respectable 12ppm.

The quality of these prints was excellent, and remained so whatever paper we loaded – the second major benefit of solid ink.

Large areas of ink, such as in our photo montage, have a distinctly waxy feel. This is the disadvantage – the ink is still too easy to scratch off. However, those looking for great colour won’t be disappointed.

The built-in 10/100 Ethernet adaptor and duplex unit are other useful features, while the 525-sheet paper tray can be augmented with a second for £349. If you don’t need the duplexer or networking, cheaper models are available.

The bundled network software is rather sparse, but the driver is logically laid out, if slightly underfeatured. There’s no option to print multiple pages per sheet, and those wishing to convert single pages into a poster will likewise be disappointed.

For users who expect to print colour pages day in, day out, the Xerox 8400DP is a great economical choice. Just beware that it needs to be left on permanently due to the ink, and the Kyocera works out cheaper overall. But the faster print speeds mean it should still be on your shortlist.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos