Xerox Phaser 6200DP - printer - color - laser review:

Xerox Phaser 6200DP - printer - color - laser

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MSRP: $3,017.00
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Quick print speeds; easy setup; automatic two-sided printing; excellent documentation.

The Bad Photos and other complex images look grainy.

The Bottom Line The Phaser 6200DP's fast color print speeds and useful features would appeal to any busy office, but its print quality falters at anything more complex than presentation graphics.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.0 Overall

Xerox's new Phaser 6200DP breaks the speed barrier for color lasers, printing all four colors in one pass instead of the usual four. Add to this its useful features for a busy office, from built-in Ethernet to Web-based management tools, and the Phaser 6200DP would seem like the ideal text/graphics workhorse. But we've seen other machines sacrifice quality in the name of speed, the same issues with which the Phaser 6200DP struggled. Xerox's new Phaser 6200DP breaks the speed barrier for color lasers, printing all four colors in one pass instead of the usual four. Add to this its useful features for a busy office, from built-in Ethernet to Web-based management tools, and the Phaser 6200DP would seem like the ideal text/graphics workhorse. But we've seen other machines sacrifice quality in the name of speed, the same issues with which the Phaser 6200DP struggled.

Straightforward setup
Installing the Phaser 6200DP is surprisingly easy, assuming you have someone who will help lift the 80-pound printer out of its box and into place. The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black toner cartridges, as well as the imaging unit, load without a hitch. And it's no sweat to replace the other imaging components (such as the transfer roller and the fuser) via the printer's front panel. If the two-page installation poster isn't enough to get you started, a more detailed setup and quick-reference guide is provided. You'll also find the installer, the drivers, basic utilities (such as a font-download tool), and extensive electronic documentation on two CDs. One of the discs supplies advanced management tools such as CentreWare Web, which lets you manage the printer through an ordinary Web browser.

Versatile features
The Phaser 6200DP's $2,599 price is competitive for what you get. A 500-sheet paper tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray come standard; high-volume users might opt for the 1,000-sheet, high-capacity feeder ($899). Standard connections include USB 1.1, parallel, and Ethernet. The front-panel LCD is easy to navigate; one button brings up contextual help to explain each menu function or message. The printer supports automatic two-sided printing and comes with a generous 128MB of memory, which is expandable to 512MB.

Mixed performance
The benefit of the Phaser 6200DP's single-pass design showed in CNET Labs' tests. It cranked out mixed text and graphics at 6.4ppm (pages per minute) and full-color pages at 6.3ppm--two to nearly three times as fast as its competitors. With text, which all printers do in one pass, its speeds cooled to an average 10.5ppm.

While the speed is impressive, the print quality could be disappointing. Both text and mixed text/graphics pages looked good overall, even though letters lacked sharpness, and images appeared faint in spots. The real problems arose when printing photos and other complex color images. Output appeared grainy, and while the color matching seemed good, blacks appeared faded and splotchy. The Phaser 6200DP will do fine on everyday business documents with a few charts and graphs but nothing more complicated.

Full service
Xerox's standard support for the Phaser 6200DP is adequate, but better plans will cost you. You can extend the one-year, onsite warranty to two years for $669 or three for $899. Free, toll-free phone support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET during the warranty period (a $25 service charge applies to each incident thereafter). The Xerox Web site includes updated drivers and management software, online user manuals, FAQs, and a searchable knowledge base.

The Xerox Phaser 6200DP has a lot going for it, including fast printing, versatile connectivity, broad OS support, and an intuitive, menu-driven interface. However, the proof is in the printing, and the Phaser 6200DP falters at anything beyond basic business graphics. That may suit mainstream office users, but in-house publishing departments and graphics pros will need a printer that can handle complex images with more skill.

Color laser printer speeds
Pages per minute (longer bars indicate better performance)
Text   
Text/graphics   
Color
HP LaserJet 4550N
9.7 
3.2 
2.2 
Minolta-QMS Magicolor 2200 N
12.0 
3.2 
2.8 
Xerox Phaser 6200DP
10.5 
6.4 
6.3 
 
Color laser printer quality
•Poor   ••Fair   •••Good   ••••Excellent
 Scanner Text Text/graphics Color
 HP LaserJet 4550N ••• •••• ••••
 Minolta-QMS Magicolor 2200 N •••• ••• •
 Xerox Phaser 6200DP ••• ••• ••
 
While the Phaser 6200DP's text speeds were in line with those of other lasers we've tested, its text/graphics and color speeds were two to three times faster than those of traditional four-pass color lasers.

Note: The HP LaserJet 4550N and the Minolta-QMS Magicolor 2200 N are four-pass color lasers and may not represent those companies' most recent offerings.

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