Color Laser Printers at Bargain Prices

How We Tested

Since cost per page is practically meaningless, we didn't run autonomy tests on the toner cartridges. Especially since there can be a difference of several hundred pages from one cartridge to another, even with cartridges from the same manufacturer (we do indicate a cost per page that's simply the result of dividing the cost of a cartridge and its life, though that figure will only be of value if you replace the cartridges that come with the printer - which for certain models will never happen...).

Therefore we focused our tests on performance and quality.

  • To test quality, we printed an 8 ½ x 11 photo at 300 dpi in order to compare what color lasers are really capable of compared to inkjet models. We also printed color blocks in different shades.
  • For our speed tests, we measured the printing time for a black text 20 pages long (at 1,500 characters per page) and a 13-page color document with text and graphics. We also measured other important parameters such as warm-up time and the printing time for the first page, which differs significantly from one model to another.
  • The other points we used in comparing the six models we tested have to do with additional functions (duplex printing, connectivity, etc.), overall ergonomics, noise level, and the page-description languages supported.
  • chrisbak
    Your image (laser2.gif) is an excellent animation of an LED printhead in action. Can I use it in some material I am putting together for Xerox, or is there a copyright on it.

    Christine Baker