Colour laser printers were once seen a luxury, but they're now falling dramatically in price. As if to prove the point the Xerox Phaser 6500 can be picked up for around £175 online, which is cheaper than many monochrome printers. Despite this, it still offers reasonably fast print speeds.
In keeping with the other models in Xerox's range of laser printers, this one avoids the boring black colour scheme that other manufacturers favour. Instead the main body of the machine is finished in matte white with dark blue used on the top section, which houses the output tray and control panel.
The control panel is fairly basic. It's got a two-line monochrome display with a four-way cursor pad sitting next to it and a couple of extra buttons to handle basic print control tasks. Despite this, the menu system is reasonably quick and easy to use.
The bottom of the machine houses a cassette-style paper tray that can take up to 250 sheets at a time. Rather than having a secondary multi-purpose tray, there's a slot on the outside of the main tray to allow you to feed in single sheets or envelopes. You can add a second 250-sheet tray for around £150 to double its paper capacity if needed.
Sadly there's no USB port on the front for direct printing from memory keys and it lacks the secure printing option that some rival manufacturers offer on their laser machines.
Getting this model up and running is fairly painless. The four toner cartridges are pre-installed, but you have to remove some protective ribbons before you can turn the machine on and start using it.
This model has Ethernet and USB onboard, so you can either connect it into your home office network via a cable or hook it up to your computer directly via a USB lead. The installation CD-Rom includes short video animations that guide you through the entire set-up process on a step-by-step basis, so even if you're a complete novice you shouldn’t find it too hard to get it up and running.