Epson AcuLaser M1200 review
Our initial impression of the Epson AcuLaser M1200 wasn’t great: its matte grey exterior is lifeless, the output tray is made from a cheap-feeling translucent plastic and the chassis is adorned with just two lights and a single power button.
Once we’d completed the refreshingly simple installation process, though, we began to see its appeal. The Epson proved consistently quick in our range of print tests. As expected, its fastest result came in our standard 5%-coverage document, where the AcuLaser churned out pages at 19.4ppm. It also printed a more demanding DTP document at 18ppm and a 12-page Excel spreadsheet at 17ppm. It’s not quite as fast as the A-Listed Samsung ML-2525, which hit a maximum speed of 22pm, but it’s far from slow.
Our quality tests – which range from basic articles to complex, picture-heavy DTP documents – were produced with superbly crisp and clean text, on a par with the Samsung. Image quality wasn’t quite so hot. Pictures were grainy and marred by narrow horizontal bands and dark areas lacked depth, but similar complaints can be levelled at the Samsung. If you’re buying a laser for under £50, average image quality is a price you’ll commonly pay.
The range of features is best described as basic. The USB connection is augmented by a Parallel port which is unlikely to be used in many homes, and the 150-page input tray is fairly standard. The output tray can comfortably hold 100 pages, but there’s no extra feed for envelopes, or anything as imaginative as the “print screen” button included on the ML-2525.
The Epson also costs a little more to run, to make up for its £42 exc VAT purchase price. Normal (1,800) and high-capacity (3,200) cartridges cost £63 and £94 exc VAT respectively, and a photoconductor unit, good for 20,000 pages, costs £75. That works out to a best cost of 3.3p per page.
The Samsung, conversely, initially costs more, but its 1,500-page cartridge costs £38 exc VAT, and a 2,500-page unit will set you back just £45 – that gives a cost under 2p. Low volume users probably won’t make up the gap in purchase price any time soon, but it’s worth considering if you print a lot.
The M1200 isn’t really meant for anyone but a light home user, though, and there’s still plenty to like. It doesn’t have the speed or style of the Samsung, but the Epson’s no-nonsense operation, cheap initial price and superb text quality make it a viable budget alternative for the home.
|Resolution printer final||600 x 600dpi|
|Rated/quoted print speed||22PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||3.3p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||N/A|
|Monthly duty cycle||15 pages|
|Drum life||20 pages|
|Standard mono toner life||1,800 pages|
|High-yield mono toner life||3,200 pages|
|Standard colour toner life||N/A|
|High-yield colour toner life||N/A|
|Supplied mono toner life||N/A|
|Supplied colour toner life||N/A|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||385 x 279 x 261mm (WDH)|
|Mono print speed (measured)||19ppm|
|Colour print speed||N/A|
|Input tray capacity||150 sheets|
|Output tray capacity||100 sheets|
|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|