Xerox Phaser 6280 review

£304
Price when reviewed

Xerox’ Phaser 6280 aims to provide quality colour printing for busy workgroups comprising up to 15 users, and focuses particularly on those with a need for small print-outs on a regular basis. It certainly delivers in the speed stakes, with Xerox claiming 25ppm for colour and 30ppm for mono printing, and the starting price of £264 for the networked model on review looks comparatively good value.

Xerox Phaser 6280 review

Our performance tests confirmed these claims, with a basic 30-page Word document completed in a 60 seconds. Colour printing using the standard driver setting was also on the mark, with our 24-page DTP-style document finishing in 57 seconds for a tidy average of 25ppm. Use the driver’s enhanced setting and speed does drop noticeably, with the same print delivered in 1min 40secs for only 13ppm.

Output quality is a mixed bag, although text is pin-sharp at all usable sizes. Colour output is more variable, as although the PC Pro colour performance chart showed a perfect transition across complex colour fades, we noticed grey shades using equal mixes of C, Y and M toner had a little too much magenta. However, colour photos benefited from a good colour balance and no banding, while detail in darker areas was good.

The 6280 offers both networked and local USB connections, and installation for the former is handled as the utility locates the printer on the network and sets up the drivers. A simple status utility is also loaded, which pops up for each print job and keeps you posted on toner levels. The printer’s web interface provides detail on consumables, along with a history of all completed jobs, the filename, and user who initiated them. The paper level icon isn’t much use, however, since it shows the tray as full even if there’s only a single sheet in it.

The base 250-sheet paper tray can be augmented with a second 550-sheet version, and a duplex unit is also available. The 40GB internal disk will be needed to store frequently used jobs on the printer, and also if you want to use the secure and proof print options. You get a decent 256MB of memory as standard, and for most jobs this will suffice. It’s just as well, as a 512MB upgrade will set you back between £500 and £625.

Speed and quality may be fine, but for running costs the 6280 beggars belief. Don’t go for the standard-capacity toner cartridge units, as these will set you back more than 2p for a mono page and nearly 12p for colour. The high-capacity cartridges do bring down costs, but only to 1.6p for mono and 8.8p for colour.

Another nail in this printer’s coffin comes from Dell, as its A-Listed 3130cn is virtually identical but offers much more. Its printing costs are far lower, Dell’s printer drivers produce better overall print quality, more print management features are provided, and optional extras are far better priced. These reasons and more are why Dell’s 3130cn is on the A List for business colour lasers and the Phaser 6280 is not.

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 600 x 600dpi
Rated/quoted print speed 30PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function no

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 1.6p
Cost per A4 colour page 8.8p

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured) 30ppm
Colour print speed 25ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 250 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? yes
Bluetooth connection? no
WiFi connection? no
PictBridge port? no

OS Support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported? yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported? no

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