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Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W review: Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W


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.

7.0

Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W

The Good

Very fast printing and good, dark, clear printouts; compact design includes foldaway paper tray.

The Bad

Output tray overfills on large jobs; paper jams require removal of toner cartridge; comes with skimpy starter cartridge; pricey toner refills.

The Bottom Line

The Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W is a cheap and compact speed demon with good text quality, but don't expect it to print quality black-and-white photos.
Intro
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.

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 pricier HP LaserJet 1320.

Speed
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 Samsung ML-1740. Printing graphics, it even gives pricier printers such as the HP LaserJet 1320 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.

Quality
As for print quality, the test text was crisp and clear, not prone to looking blobby at lower point sizes. In our graphics samples, solid expanses of black came out without banding, and line art was of high quality overall. High-resolution grayscale digital photographs printed through Windows XP's Printer wizard, however, showed some linear artifacts that marred the image quality.

CNET Labs' laser printer tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Black graphics speed  
Black text speed  
HP LaserJet 1320
13.34 
17.38 
Brother HL-5140
15.97 
16.46 
Samsung ML-1740
13.25 
12.98 

CNET Labs' laser quality tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Graphics quality  
Text quality  
HP LaserJet 1320
Good 
Excellent 
Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W
Good 
Excellent 
Samsung ML-1740
Good 
Fair 
Brother HL-5140
Good 
Good 

Click here to learn more about how CNET Labs tests printers.

Performance analysis written by CNET Labs project leader Dong Van Ngo.

Konica Minolta provides a one-year exchange warranty with both e-mail and toll-free telephone support. Phone support hours for the Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W vary based on the day of the week: between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and from noon till 6 p.m. on Sundays. During our test calls, wait times were less than five minutes even at peak hours.

Konica Minolta's Web site offers solid customer service and support options for this printer, including an extensive searchable knowledge base, driver downloads, documentation, and tutorials. The online offerings are a few clicks away from the Konica Minolta home page and are easy to navigate and use.

7.0

Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7Support 7