Performance And Cost Per Page
|Performance||Color LaserJet 2600n||Color LaserJet 3600||Magicolor 5430DL||Lexmark C522n|
|Average speed with office documents||6.2 ppm||15 ppm||14.2 ppm||6.4 ppm|
|Printing Excel graph, one page||00:21||00:13||00:17||00:17|
|Printing 300-dpi Illustrator document||00:25||00:16||00:22||00:55|
|Printing 300-dpi Photoshop image||00:24||00:19||00:21||01:04|
Don't believe the speeds claimed in manufacturers' specifications. Even though some models can come close to them, actual measurements are always slower. Sometimes they are much slower, as in the case of the C522n, which claims to be among the fastest.
Cost Per Page
|Cost per page||Color LaserJet 2600n||Color LaserJet 3600||Magicolor 5430DL||Lexmark C522n|
|Cost of black page, 5% coverage||$0.04||$0.01||$0.01||$0.03|
|Cost of color page, 20% coverage||$0.17||$0.08||$0.08||$0.13|
|Cost of 10,000 pages (70% black, 30% color)||$755.79||$344.09||$354.60||$575.93|
The cost spreads show that the initial purchase cost of the printer ultimately has little impact once you get past a few thousand pages; the more expensive models are amortized and so become more economical. You should choose your printer based on your estimated printing volume.
While the purchase prices of one-pass color laser printers may vary greatly, you should be careful not to use purchase price as your only criterion in choosing a printer. The Lexmark C522n has a lot going for it ergonomically, but its performance is too disappointing. The Konica Minolta Magicolor 5 430DL is a very complete printer, but its bulk limits its possible applications. The HP Color LaserJet 2 600n is mostly for people who don't need to print a lot, given its very high cost per page. The Color LaserJet 3600 represents the best compromise between ergonomics, quality, speed, and cost per page; it's a shame that its network version costs so much.