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Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP205 review: Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP205

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Design

If you were going to design a laser printer along conventional lines, there's a very good chance that you'd come up with something that looked almost exactly like — if not identical to — the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP205. When the most striking thing about a product that you can find to say is that it's black (or white) in a market that's dominated by beige or light grey printer models, you know that you're stretching. The Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP205 measures in at 394x304x234mm and weighs in at 11kg, making it a squat but solid bit of printing kit.

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7.3

Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP205

The Good

Colour LED printer in a compact casing. Network-capable.

The Bad

Slow print speeds. No downloadable Mac drivers.

The Bottom Line

Fuji Xerox's colour laser is relatively quiet and delivers good quality prints, but not in any kind of hurry.

Features

The DocuPrint CP205 is a colour LED printer, and that's it. If you're after a multifunction you won't find it here, although there is one slight variance that Fuji Xerox offers within the range. The DocuPrint CP205 we tested comes with USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet connectivity, but for those who yearn for wireless, the higher priced DocuPrint CP205w supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. In terms of supported operating systems, anything newer than Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.4.11 should suffice, although we did hit one annoying quirk along the way relating to that claimed compatibility.

Fuji Xerox rates the DocuPrint CP205's print speeds at up to 12ppm in colour and 15ppm in monochrome. There's no inbuilt duplexing functionality, so small businesses keen on duplexing would have to do a lot of manual paper shuffling with the DocuPrint CP205.

Fuji Xerox rates the black toner cartridges for the DocuPrint CP205 at up to 2000 pages, and the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow Toner cartridges at up to 1400 pages each. There's no option for a higher yield cartridge option. We found the black cartridges online for an average of AU$89, and the colour cartridges for AU$99 each. A quick bit of division suggests an average printing page cost of around 4.45c for a monochrome page and 21.2c per colour page, which is about what you'd expect to pay for a printer in this kind of price and capability range.

Performance

Installing the DocuPrint CP205 was something of an adventure for us, although it should be a little simpler for many consumers. The review model supplied to CNET lacked the installation CD entirely. Attempting to install it on an iMac running Mac OS X 10.6, we could find the printer via Bonjour with no problems, and Mac OS suggested using a standard postscript driver. This should, in theory, work, although it's not the best way to get optimal print speeds or access to every feature of a printer.

Except in the DocuPrint CP205's case, it simply didn't. Every print job we sent to the DocuPrint CP205 cancelled itself on the printer for reasons that baffled us. No worries, we figured; we'd just head to Fuji Xerox's support site and download the drivers. Except that there's a problem there, too. Fuji Xerox has drivers for the DocuPrint CP205 available on its website — except for the Mac drivers. The support pages (and indeed the packaging) state that it's a Mac OS X supported printer, but if you do lose the install CD, it appears that you're plumb out of luck. Windows drivers for XP/Windows 7 are available, so we downloaded those, and we were thankful that this part of the install process at least went smoothly.

Fuji Xerox's own claimed print speeds for the DocuPrint CP205 aren't all that high and this played out in our print speed tests. A single page took 15 seconds to emerge, which isn't too shabby, but over the course of one minute, the best the DocuPrint CP205 could manage was a meagre eight pages, and that was in monochrome. As with most LED printers, the less complex print head mechanism leads to a significantly quieter printing experience which could be a definite plus in a small home office.

While it's slow, print quality was sharp in both monochrome and colour, and even passable when printing 10x15cm photos. It's certainly no photo printer, but if you wanted small inset photos in a document, the DocuPrint CP205 should suit your needs nicely.