The ColorQube 8570 from Xerox doesn't use laser or inkjet technology. Instead it relies on a solid ink printing system. Chunks of ink are dropped into slots at the top of the printer and these are heated to melting point as and when the printer mechanism needs them.
The results -- speed and print quality -- are close to laser technology. So just how well does this model, which costs around £400, compare to similarly priced laser printers?
Like most of Xerox's current models, the 8570 has a two-tone colour scheme. White is used for most of the chassis, but the sloping panel on the front, which houses the screen and controls, is finished in dark blue. The contrast between the two colours looks quite stylish and is a change from the all-black designs of most of its rivals.
However, the 8570 is a big machine. It's almost twice as deep as most of the laser printers we've seen at this price.
The control panel has a small five-line monochrome display. There are six buttons next to it to help you navigate the various menus and to start or cancel print jobs. Menu navigation is slightly fiddly, but the layout of the menus is reasonably good, so you soon get the hang of it.
The main paper tray is positioned at the bottom of the machine and can take up to 525 sheets of paper. Above this is a multi-purpose tray that can handle another 100 sheets. You can add up to three more 500-sheet trays if you need extra capacity.
Sadly, there's no USB port for direct printing from memory keys and it lacks the secure printing feature that you'll find on rival laser models from the likes of Brother.
Before you can use the printer, you need to place the four solid blocks of ink into the body of the printer. To do this you pull open a panel on the surface of the paper output tray. Then place the ink blocks in the slots provided.
When you turn on the printer it takes a long time for these to be heated up to the required temperature. As a result, installation takes a lot longer than with a normal laser printer. It's worth bearing in mind that if you turn the printer off at night, it'll have to redo this warm-up phase each morning.