Konica Minolta Magicolor 8650DN

A duplex A3 capable printer that doesn't take up too much space seems like a contradiction in terms, but has Konica Minolta's Magicolor 8650DN done the trick?

Konica Minolta Magicolor 8650DN

At the departmental level, printers are normally aimed at either an office environment, where the key requirement is to print text and perhaps business graphics, or at a creative workgroup, where colour proofing of graphic and photo content is more important.

Konica Minolta's Magicolor 8650DN is designed to straddle both uses and has an eye open for short-run copy bureau use as well. A real jack of all trades, but does it escape the end of that aphorism?

Given that the printer can handle A3 documents as standard, it has a fairly modest footprint. Although it will be happier sitting on its own stand than on a desk, it should be comparatively easy to tuck it away in the corner of an office. The top of the Magicolor8650DN is fairly conventional with pages feeding out from right to left along its top cover.

At the right-hand end of the top cover is long, lozenge-shaped gantry, which has a control panel and display set into its curved front end. The display is backlit and can show text in a variety of sizes, as well as bit-mapped graphics.

At the bottom of the front panel are two, standard paper drawers and each can take up to 500 sheets of standard 80gsm A4 or A3 paper. They can also handle much heavier grades than this, up to 256gsm, but the 100-sheet special purpose tray, which folds down from the right-hand side, can go still higher, up to 271gsm.

Consumables are easy to get at, all sitting behind the fold-down front panel, in typical photocopier style. There are four separate toner cartridges and four photoconductor drums, as well as a waste toner bottle. The photoconductor drums have service lives of 90,000 pages for colour and 120,000 pages for black, but the toner cartridges are 'starter' units, offering 6,000 and 9,000 pages. Full-yield replacements provide up to 20,000 and 26,000 pages, respectively.

Supplied software includes drivers for PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3 as standard and there's support for Windows 2000, XP and Vista, OS 9.2 and OSX, Netware 4, 5 and 6 and various Linux distributions.

Although the machine is well-configured in its default state, there are plenty of ways to extend its capabilities. As well as up to two more 500-sheet trays, a bulk 2,500-sheet tray and a banner tray for long pages, you can fit a finisher, a four-bin mailbox, a four-hole punch and a saddle stitcher.

You can also fit a 60GB hard drive and an authentication scanner for USB drives. This actually looks at the veins in your finger to determine identify rather than your fingerprints, but thankfully doesn't yet ask for blood type or DNA breakdown before letting you print.

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