Color Laser Printers: Fast and Affordable!

Konica Minolta Magicolor 5430DL

Konica Minolta is one of the few manufacturers that builds its own printing engines, and the one in the Magicolor 5430DL is one of the fastest - at least on paper. But while its performance is indeed attractive, the quality of its output leaves something to be desired.

Ergonomics And Functions

At a whopping 92.4 pounds (42 kg), this printer is one of the heaviest and bulkiest on the market. That's due at least in part to its use of very large toner cartridges, requiring an increase in the overall volume of the housing. In terms of options, this is one of the most complete printers we tested, offering, for example, an additional set of trays for a total capacity of 1,250 sheets and duplex printing. However, the noise level is higher than average, which might be a problem in confined spaces.

Printing Speeds

While not up to the manufacturer's claim of 20 ppm, our tests did clock the Magicolor 5430DL at a respectable 14.2 ppm with office documents. The time to print the first page was also quite good, at 20 seconds, even if the warm-up time coming out of standby mode sometimes seemed long.

Print Quality

This printer's engine had a hard time dealing with highly detailed images. Our Excel graph pointed out its shortcomings: several light-colored lines weren't displayed. The same was true of our bitmap, where the colors had a tendency to be too red and were generally dull and lifeless.

Cost Per Page

Thanks to the very large capacity of its cartridges, the Magicolor 5430DL scored a very reasonable cost per page: 2 cents in black and 9 cents in color. But to get those results you'll have to invest in the high-capacity toner cartridges, or the cost will be 15% to 20% higher.


The Magicolor 5430DL is for people who need speed more than quality and want an economical model with a network port. Its bulk and noise level make it unsuited to home users, but it would work well for a small company where it could be shared by several users.

  • gorbehnare
    This is a good comparison. I found this information very much more useful.
  • wahaha
    You're also forgetting one thing, LOWER DPI.

    You do NOT need to print random obtuse documents at 300DPI. That's a waste of ink/toner, and speed. Is it even worth it to save half of 1 cent though? Who knows.

    And I bet they base the speed claims of these lasers off of 150 DPI settings. You only use 300+ DPI for business appropriate letter head.
  • alfredjr18
    Yup. Nice Post. Try to see this one too

    Best Cost Per Page HP Color Laser Printers

  • Inkjets will dry up if not used for months: TRUE. Lasers are the best choice if you rarely print stuff.

    Inkjets try to waste as much ink as possible: TRUE. They love to spray a LOT of ink when running very frequent cleaning cycles.

    All printer companies try to rip you off: TRUE. Chipping should be illegal from the environmental perspective. I've seen HP printers expire an entire set of 90% full color toner cartridges because they were too old, printers that refuse to print using a refilled cartridge. Some OEMs for medium-heavy duty printers require that you give them the used cartridges to get preferred pricing. That's to keep used cartridges from getting to re-manufacturers.

    Printing photos at home is a waste of money: True. They cost like a dollar for 4x6, and if you botch one, it's now $2. Photo lab is under $0.25, they pay for their mistakes, and the print is much more durable and fade / water resistant.

    For most economical, trouble free printing for a home user, get an old HP 4/5. Built like a tank, tones of re-manufactured cartridges available (if you ever need one)
  • Do you own a laser or inkjet?
  • Its time to end the stereotype of THIS article, cause its BS.

    1) Inkjets have alternative ink, that cuts down printing costs to less than that of lasers. Example: 1L color from Inktec - over 10k pages at 5% - cost 20$. ONE liter. UV resistance included.
    2) It is possible to buy as little as 20ml of ink if you dont print often
    3) Inkjet head can be rinsed with distilled hot water and vacuumed for 10 years period, if you don´t print.
    4) Inkjets do produce better quality photo. 4800x4800 vs 600x600, go try it out. The only paper where they are on parity is normal 80g which makes no difference.
    5) Printing costs: The only laser capable of at least 1200x1200 is lexmark 5xx series, with supplies costing 300$, drum 200$, drying element 250$. All this comes to page costs, somehow everyone forgets that and calculates only toner cost, which is WRONG.
    6) Inkjet consumes only 50W at printing, where lasers are up to 2KW. But thats not a major factor.

    So inkjets weight less, cost less, running costs are less, prints better. What is real problem with inkjets?
    1) You have to use alternative ink, but not just some, but special for your model. Forget about original ink - it costs more than parfume.
    2) It can get messy - if you set wrong settings - because printer dries and stores excessive ink INSIDE of itself, it can pretty much mess everything. You will need lots of paper and/or Q-tips to clean.
    3) Remember 15 minute max on air time for printing heads and catridges. A head which is dried up ins near impossible to recover if it uses pigment ink.
    4) Hardly a photo is water resistant. Due to nature of ink, its impossible. It will not dissolve from water drops, but merging a photo in water - and you can forget it. There are printers which are better here - the sublimation printers. But they are ONLY good for photo and printing costs are high, but thats labor quality.
    5) Unlike laser, you will sometimes need to clean your inkjet. It is a very messy process, and remember never to use alcohol cause it can dry ink up an you can forget the printing head.

    All in one, inkjets are ideal for less than 1000 prints in a month, or in situation where photo printing is needed, but not on large scale. Starting from 1000 prints pro year you should get CISS system on your inkjet, but still laser will be a bit more efficient, because of raw printing speed (1pass laser) and outage times(cleaning head etc).

    Overall inkjet costs way way less with alternative ink, alone the cost of supplies for laser (toner set+drum+fixer) can overweight cost of laser printer itself by factor 200%. This is why you find empty laser printers on sale at ebay for 20$.