Editor's note: We have changed the ratings in this review to reflect recent changes in our ratings scale. Find out more here.
If both your desk and your schedule are cramped beyond belief, the Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W should grab your attention. At 15.2 inches wide and less than a foot deep with its paper tray retracted, this tiny 1,200dpi laser printer cranks out monochrome text like there's no tomorrow: it averaged more than 13.5 pages per minute in CNET Labs' tests, no mean feat for a printer that you can take home for about $150 (as of January 2005). Of course, this printer has its limitations, such as a scant 150-page paper tray and an even scantier 100-page output tray that's prone to spilling pages over the edge, but it's still a workhorse. Another downside: its 6,000 extended-capacity cartridges cost about as much as the printer itself. Yet for speedy and good-looking pages, the affordable PagePro 1350W is attractive, and for people with small desks, it's an excellent choice. This printer's 8MB buffer and overall speed would service a small workgroup if you added an external print server, as long as people don't leave a lot of pages to spill from its outtake tray. For a printer that's about 15 inches wide and less than a foot deep, the Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W manages to cover the laser printing bases well. It weighs a slight 17 pounds, with a 150-sheet paper tray designed to stay empty until you're ready to print. Ready? You flip down the dual-purpose cover-cum-paper tray and slip your blank pages inside, adding an extra six inches to the machine's footprint at the front.
Pages take a C-shaped path through the machine to appear atop an output tray that's overrated to hold 100 sheets; but pages spill over the edge after only 10 pages. The buckling of the sheets as they spool out of the printer seems to reduce the output tray's capacity. Otherwise, our test prints flowed smoothly, without excessive paper jams. Unfortunately, when it does jam, you must take out the toner cartridge to remove any paper stuck in the works. But we subjected this printer to extra torture tests, such as feeding it damp onionskin paper, before it jammed.
The Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W has a zippy 21-page-per-minute (ppm) engine that produces 1,200x1,200dpi grayscale documents and supports GDI page description, which means that Mac and Linux users need not apply. Designed to work with Windows 98 (and later) machines, this model comes with USB 1.1 and old-fashioned IEEE 1284 parallel ports.For such a small and inexpensive printer, there's a lot to recommend the Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W. It accepts a variety of paper sizes and weights, handling regular 20-pound paper and thick card stock equally well, and managing heavy-duty manila envelopes without a hitch. Only with lightweight paper did it stumble, squishing creases into a few sheets of a 30-page print job.
The printer software includes an always-on monitor that provides concise and useful messages about the print process. Although the 1350W doesn't have a built-in duplexer for double-sided printing, you can print n-up and two-sided booklets using options in the printer driver. After printing the first side of a page, the printer software pauses while you follow printed instructions for orienting the pages to print on the other side of a sheet. If you must regularly print on two sides of a sheet of paper, take a look at the pricierSpeed .
Speed is the watchword for this little powerhouse of a printer. In our tests, the Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W belted out 14 pages per minute of text and a tad less (13.6ppm) for graphics. As such, it's among the fastest compact laser printers that have passed through the CNET Labs, a full page per minute ahead of competitors such as the . Printing graphics, it even gives pricier printers such as the a run for its money, though it can't match the LaserJet's text printing speeds.
This printer also managed to crank out its test pages without making a fuss; it's one of the quietest printers we've seen. Certainly, it revs up its engine and fans as it cycles through the printing process, but even sitting on a cheap, laminated IKEA desk, the engines ran so quietly, they couldn't be heard during a phone conversation.