Kyocera Mita FS-C1020 MFP - colour laser printer review

As a multi-function device, the FS-C1020MFP offers a lot, but can Kyocera successfully bring the quality of its larger format printers to its offerings lower down the scale?

Colour printing was rather slower, with pauses as the printer processed our 24-page graphical document in several sections, producing a colour print speed of 5.6ppm - not unusably slow by any means, but you'll want to stick to mono printing for day-to-day use. Despite the printer's support for per-user restrictions, you can't restrict colour printing. A colour document comprising 10 sides printed on five sheets of paper printed in two minutes and 53 seconds.

The scanner driver was slow to launch and looks rather primitive. When network scanning for the first time we had to refresh the scanner's IP address. Having to do this and click the button to refresh the scanner's IP address might appear to be a minor inconvenience, but it's actually very useful if your MFP's address is assigned by DHCP rather than fixed.

Unfortunately, the scanner interface is poorly implemented in other ways. Although the head moved across the platen quickly enough, our preview scan took over a minute to load. This is actually considerably slower than our 150dpi scan of the same A4 document, which took 36 seconds. This is still an appallingly slow scan speed compared to any scanner or MFP we've seen recently.

Even more painfully slow is a 600dpi 6x4in scan that took just under two minutes. Auto cropping completely failed to work even when we attempted it on a 6x4in photo. An Advanced tab provided access to colour, brightness and contrast settings. Changes made by these were accurately reflected in the preview window.

After waiting a long time to complete our scans, their quality was actually very good, with clear text, accurate dark and light tones - although some pale colours looked a little too grey - fine detail and smooth shading. Copy quality is excellent and not inordinately slow - a mono page scanned from the flatbed glass took 28 seconds, while 10 mono pages from the ADF took just over a minute to copy.

Like its print speeds, the FS-C1020MFP's running costs are good enough to serve a typical small office, but don't really set it apart from other colour laser MFPs in the same price category. A combined black and colour page costs 8.8p, while a mono page costs 1.7p. However, the drums are integrated with the toner cartridges, so there are no hidden costs. Cartridges are available in just one size, but these are reasonably high yield. A 6,500 page black cartridge (TK-150K) costs 115, while 6,000 page cyan (TK-150C) and yellow (TK-150Y) cartridges cost 145 each and a 6,000 page magenta cartridge (TK-150M) comes in at 138.

Verdict

Kyocera's FS-C1020MFP is affordably priced with reasonable print speeds and page costs that, although not remarkably low, include the cost of the integrated drum and are fairly typical for a compact office MFP. Its print quality is nothing short of outstanding, with perfect colour and shading and copies, although slightly slow, looked great. Unfortunately, all this is let down by some of the worst network scanning speeds we've ever seen. Scan quality is fine, but few people are prepared to wait over a minute for a 150dpi A4 scan. If you rarely need to scan documents, the FS-C1020MFP is an unremarkable but reasonably capable printer. If you actually need to scan documents, though, you'd be better off looking elsewhere.

Print DPI: 600 x 600 dpi Scan DPI: 200 x 1,200dpi Ports: USB, 10/100 Ethernet interfaces Dimensions: 476 x 420 x 493mm Warranty: one year on-site Quoted maximum speed: 20ppm mono/20ppm colour Power consumption 22W standby, 40W idle, 1,170W active

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