Ricoh Aficio SP C250SF review

A serious laser capable of producing stunning prints and scans - but it's neither good value nor user-friendly

Price
£172
  • Superb print and scan quality; Good enterprise features;
  • High running costs; Takes a long time to warm up; Byzantine interface;

Like Lexmark's CX310dn, the Ricoh SP C250SF is a business-grade printer that's priced within reach of a personal office or small workgroup. The imposing exterior makes no concessions to "lifestyle design", and the feature list is squarely professional, including a 250-sheet paper cassette and full duplex printing.

On paper, print speeds are merely respectable: our 20-page mono document was produced in 1min 40secs, for an average of 12ppm, while colour came out at 10ppm. Those numbers don't tell the whole story, though: by default the Ricoh drops into power-saving mode after just 60 seconds of inactivity, so print times normally include a 20-second wait for the unit to warm up. From warm, mono pages come out at a more impressive 17ppm.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Frustratingly, a similar delay applies to scanning: after you walk up and press the button, you're left standing around for 20 seconds until the Ricoh is ready to respond. Even once it's awake the scanner is slow: it took 53 seconds to scan a 200ppi greyscale image for us, and more than three minutes for a 300ppi A4 page.

The good news is that output quality is excellent. We simply couldn't fault the quality of text or business graphics, and the SP C250SF even had a good go at reproducing colour photos. On regular 80gsm office paper, it produced results richer and cleaner than you've any right to expect from a laser. Meanwhile, scanned images have a very pleasing appearance, coming out balanced and clear, without conspicuous speckles or sharpening.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Overall, though, we didn't enjoy testing the SP C250SF. Leaving aside the constant warm-up delays, we found the user interface frustratingly obscure: more than once we found ourselves unsure which button to press to access the function we wanted. Advanced configuration, such as setting up scan destinations, is done via the printer's web interface, which is easier to navigate, but still clunky and unclear.

Advertisement - Article continues below

A final weakness is expensive consumables. The initial purchase price is one thing - after all, you get a lot of printer for your money - but 3p per mono page and 15.4p per colour are way too high. Despite its great print quality, the C250SF simply has too many weak points, relative to its rivals, to recommend.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 262

Verdict

Excellent output quality isn't enough to redeem this printer's indecipherable interface, expensive running costs and constant warm-up delays.

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now

Recommended

Visit/hardware/peripherals/355592/lexmark-mc3224adwe-review-compact-and-affordable
peripherals

Lexmark MC3224adwe review: Compact and affordable

11 May 2020
Visit/hardware/peripherals/355582/kyocera-ecosys-m6635cidn-review-powerfully-good-value
peripherals

Kyocera Ecosys M6635cidn review: Powerfully good value

7 May 2020
Visit/printers/29013/best-printers
Hardware

Best printers 2020

18 Dec 2019
Visit/hardware/peripherals/354337/lexmark-c3224dw-review-cheap-but-not-necessarily-good-value
peripherals

Lexmark C3224dw review: Cheap, but not necessarily good value

14 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/355812/microsoft-warns-against-installing-windows-10-may-2020
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft warns users not to install Windows 10's May update

28 May 2020
Visit/infrastructure/server-storage/355785/dell-emc-poweredge-r7525-review-an-epyc-core-density-to-make
Server & storage

Dell EMC PowerEdge R7525 review: An EPYC core density to make Intel weep

26 May 2020
Visit/infrastructure/network-internet/355792/intel-releases-wi-fi-and-bluetooth-driver-updates-for
Network & Internet

Intel releases Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver updates for Windows 10

26 May 2020