Xerox WorkCentre 6027 review

Suffers from low speeds and high costs, but this LED MFP offers good mobile printing features and output quality

Price
£229
  • Excellent scan and print quality; Good mobile printing options;
  • No duplex printing; Expensive to run;

Small businesses with a print-hungry mobile workforce will find that the Xerox WorkCentre 6027 makes their life much easier. This compact colour LED multifunction printer (MFP) delivers print, scan, copy and fax functions; has USB and 10/100 wired connections; while wireless support includes Wi-Fi Direct, AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Bluetooth and NFC are obvious absentees.

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Xerox goes the extra mobile mile with its free PrintBack solution. Its iOS and Android apps link up with a PrintBack agent on your PC or Mac so you can print directly from a mobile device to the PC's default printer. With the agent loaded on our iPad, we set it to use the same Dropbox account on our PC. This is the main method, but PrintBack also supports Box and public webmail apps such as Gmail.

We could then select photos and Office email attachments from our iPad, which appeared in the printer's output tray less than 30 seconds later. Xerox is security-conscious too. The app can be password protected and, with the "Hold" option selected, the PC agent pops up a message and waits until you're back on-site to release the print.

On our Windows 10 desktop, the general installation routine loads PCL6, fax and TWAIN drivers (plus PostScript if desired). You also get address book editing and scan manager tools, plus a system tray app for quick access to printer and consumable status views.

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The printer supports WPS and can search for available networks, meaning that setting up Wi-Fi access is simple. If the printer senses that an Ethernet cable is plugged in, it will automatically disable the wireless connection.

Its local controls, accessed through a colour LCD touchscreen, are well designed and intuitive. It takes only a few seconds to copy or fax a document, and you can print directly from a USB stick by plugging it into the port at the front of the printer's body.

The "Scan To PC" option supports only a direct USB host connection, but you can send scans to SMB and FTP locations - or an email address. However, you'll need to add SMTP mail server details and set up an address book, to which you can add entries using Xerox's CentreWare web console or the PC utility.

Sadly, automatic duplexing isn't available, but there is a manual option in the driver settings. It's simple to use, with the LCD panel instructing users to take the paper out after the first side has printed and put it back in the input tray to print the other side.

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It took one minute to print an 18-page Word document, with a 12-second wait for the first page. Large colour prints proved more demanding, though, as the time-to-first-page for our 24-page DTP test print increased to 16 seconds while subsequent speeds dropped to 13 pages per minute (ppm).

The scanner's ADF doesn't have a duplex function, plus copy speeds aren't great: in our tests, we duplicated a ten-page document at 12ppm. Furthermore, general printing costs are high: mono and colour prints cost 2p and 12p per page respectively.

So far, so average, but the WorkCentre delivers superb print quality. Even the smallest of fonts were razor sharp, while mono photos exhibited high levels of detail with minimal banding. Colour output is just as impressive, and the unsightly cross-hatching effect that can afflict Oki's LED printers is far less noticeable on the WorkCentre.

The PCL6 driver offers five print-quality settings and our colour-performance charts showed that the "Photo" and "POP" options were the most vibrant by far. The scanner scores well for quality, too: text copies were almost as good the originals, while colour photocopies suffered from only a slight graininess.

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Public cloud-printing support is limited to Google, so if you want more we recommend Dell's H825cdw. It costs an extra 80 but is much faster and offers automatic duplexing, as well as NFC support. Value for the WorkCentre 6027 is marred by its steep running costs, but we found it easy to use and capable of producing surprisingly good output quality.

This review originally appeeared in PC Pro issue 260.

Verdict

Value for the WorkCentre 6027 is marred by its steep running costs, but we found it easy to use and capable of producing surprisingly good output quality.

600dpi A4 colour laser 18ppm mono/colour 1,200ppi colour scanner 525MHz CPU 512MB RAM 2 x USB 2 2 x RJ-11 10/100 Ethernet 802.11n Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Direct AirPrint Fax/modem 150-page input tray 15-page ADF Recommended monthly duty cycle, 1,500 pages PaperPort SE 14 software 410 x 439 x 388mm (WDH) 1yr NBD warranty

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