Xerox WorkCentre 3550X review
Multifunction printers may satisfy nearly every paper based communication an office could need but this versatility usually comes at the cost of reduced print speeds. Not so with Xerox’ latest WorkCentres. These new MFPs combine an A4 mono laser with scan, copy plus fax functions and yet are capable of delivering print speeds of up to 33ppm.
The family comprises three models and the only difference between them is what they’re sitting on. The 3550X on review has the base 500-sheet tray, the 3550XT has an extra 500-sheet tray, and the 3550XTS adds a wheeled printer stand.
Installation is a swift process and it’s worth visiting the printer’s CentreWare web server first to get the various scan, fax and email features set up. For the latter, the printer supports scanning directly to email via LDAP and this requires the IP address or hostname of an LDAP server to be provided. When users send faxes they can browse through a global address book at the printer’s control panel and pick a recipient from it.
Scan functions are extensive as they can be sent directly to multiple email addresses, to network systems using FTP or SMB or to a local USB stick. From CentreWare you create entries that describe either an email recipient or a destination system and target folder, which appear as options in the printer’s scan menu.
For fax operations the printer can hold a speed dial list of up to 200 entries and this can be created swiftly by importing a text file. Fax to email is supported and documents can also be sent directly from a PC using the fax driver, although to access the printer’s address book you need a USB connection.
Access security to the printer is very good as it supports LDAP, NT and AD authentication or you can create a local database of users. Either way, with this activated the user will need to log in at the local panel before they can use any functions.
Xerox provides a bumper bundle of software with the ScanSoft PaperPort SE 11 using the TWAIN driver to scan documents directly from the printer to your PC over the network. The Image Retriever monitors network folders or Outlook and Lotus email accounts (but not Windows Live Mail) and moves incoming documents to a folder of your choice.
Xerox is on the money for speed with the 3550X churning out a 33-page Word document in precisely one minute. An integral duplexer is included and printing the test document on both sides dropped speed to 16ppm. The driver offers standard and best quality modes and our 24-page heavy duty DTP document was delivered in both modes at the full 33ppm.
Print quality is variable as although text is absolutely fine, we found the high levels of detail in photos and scanned pictures was marred slightly by a banding effect. The scanner couldn’t be faulted, though, with colour documents faithfully reproduced to a high quality.
The WorkCentre 3550X offers a complete factory for paper-based office communications and looks a lot better value than similar products from HP, such as the LaserJet M3035. Print quality is only average but speed is good, a duplex unit comes as standard and Xerox includes a decent software bundle.
|Resolution printer final||600 x 600dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||33PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||1.3p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||N/A|
|Cost per A4 colour photo||N/A|
|6x4in photo print time||N/A|
|A4 photo print time||N/A|
|Mono print speed (measured)||33.0ppm|
|Colour print speed||N/A|
|Input tray capacity||500 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|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||no|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Software supplied||ScanSoft OmniPage SE 16, PaperPort 11 SE|