Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF review

Colour laser print, copy, scan and fax, along with reasonalbe TCO make this a workgroup printer that deserves a second look.

There's a copy of Nuance PaperPort for document management, but the machine also comes with Konica Minolta's own PageScope suite, covering network handling. Both PCL and PostScript Level 3 are provided in emulation.

The Magicolor 4695MF is rated at 24ppm for both black and colour pages, but under our tests, where we print in normal mode and include processing time, we saw no more than 17ppm for black text print. Our five-page, text and colour graphics test took 1:05, or a speed of just 4.61ppm and printing a 10-page, 20-side duplex document took a very leisurely 4:42, giving a page speed of 2.13ppm. This slow duplex speed may discourage customers from making the paper savings available with double-sided printing a shame.

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Print quality, using Konica Minolta's Simitri HD polymerised toner, is generally very good, with almost die-cut black lettering and vibrant colour graphics. Konica Minolta claims prints are matt, but they're only semi-matt, with black in particular still having a sheen to it. Photographic images, as long as you select photo print in the driver, are more natural than from many colour laser engines.

Colour photocopies from both the flatbed and the ADF are perfectly acceptable, though some tints look a little faded. The scanner has a maximum 600dpi resolution, so is fine for OCR and general-purpose scanning. It produces good images and there's sufficient onboard memory to hold several page images, so when copying, the scanner doesn't have to wait for the previous page to finish printing.

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All consumables are at the front of the device, behind the hinge-down front panel, and toner and drum units slide out from the front, keeping maintenance easy. Toner cartridges provide 4,000 pages in standard capacity or 8,000 pages in high capacity and the drum units only need to be replaced after 30,000 pages. The fuser, transfer belt and transfer roller are considered to be maintenance items and have service lives of 120,000 pages.

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Given the going rate for the consumables on the web, we calculate page costs of 1.21p for a black page and 6.63p for colour. These are reasonable rates, though not exceptional, and if you feel the service life of your printer will run to more than 120,000 pages, you need to add 1.12p to the cost of both black and colour pages, nearly doubling the black page cost.

Alternatively, Konica Minolta can sell you the BizHub C20, essentially the same machine as the Magicolor 4695MF but on a per-click basis, and this may prove more economic, if the machine will be used heavily.

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Verdict

This is a heavyweight machine, which should be able to handle print, copy, scan and fax functions for a good-sized workgroup. Print and scan quality is good, but print isn’t as fast as the spec sheet figures suggest. TCO is likely to be good, particularly before you reach 120,000 pages, when extra maintenance kicks in.

Resolution: 2,400 x 600dpi Speed: (Manufacturer’s claimed), 24ppm A4 duplex colour printer Paper handling: 250 + 100 sheet paper trays Duty Cycle: 120,000 page one-off monthly duty cycle Connectivity: USB 2.0 and gigabit Ethernet ports Languages: PCL6 and PostScript L3 emulation drivers

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