Konica Minolta updates $300 color laser printer

Konica Minolta replaces its entry level 2400W printer with the new 2500W. Offering an identical feature set, the new model comes in a slightly revised design for the same price. The $300 price tag is low enough to raise an interesting question: Do you buy a new toner set or a new printer for about the same price?

The 2500W isn't exactly an office workhorse, but it offers enough performance - a print speed of 5 pages per minute in color and 20 in black white at a resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi - to replace aging black and white laser printers at home. Konica Minolta has been playing with its 2000-series in the entry-level color laser for more than four years and is currently competing in the increasingly populated sub-$300 field with the preceding 2400W and the new 2500W model.

Just like the 2400W, the 2500W comes with toner cartridges that are rates at a yield of 1500 pages at an assumed 5% of average color coverage. Replacing that complete toner set will cost users $290 (MSRP) - or 97% of the printers suggested retail price of $299. Since toner is not the only consumable buyers will have to replace over the life time of the printer - a drum cartridge that needs to be replaced after 11,250 color prints is priced at $150 - some buyers may be tempted to buy a whole new printer when they would only need new toner. Or, users could cut the toner cost in half by buying "high capacity" toner with a yield of 4500 pages. But in that case, the toner replacement cost surges to $475 (MSRP).

Besides the 2500W, Konica Minolta also announced the 2530 DL for workgroups. For $400, the printer comes with 64 MB memory, compatibility with Windows Server 2003/XP/2000/NT4/Me/98SE, Macintosh OSX v10.2+ and Linux Red Hat 8.0+/SuSE 8.1+ and supports printing directly from digital cameras through the integration of PictBridge.