Xerox Phaser 7300DN
At a Glance
Xerox priced the Phaser 7300DN at the low end compared with competing tabloid-size printers--$4199 with an internal duplexer. It is also among the least expensive to supply with toner, using 11 cents' worth of toner per page in PC World's toner-yield test. The 7300DN has blazing text speed: In our tests it printed text at 23.3 pages per minute, which made it the fastest model on our May issue's chart and put it about 50 percent ahead of the chart average. Graphics also printed fast, at 4.3 ppm. The text on our printouts looked very clean and sharp (if a bit light), and the device printed narrow parallel lines distinctly, with perfect definition and no smudging in between. Its gray-scale photos came out too dark, however, and were marred by moire patterns; image detail survived, however. Color prints looked grainy and had some dottiness, but retained detail well.
Xerox embeds help files in the printer's permanent memory, so when you need a reminder, for example, on how to move the printer or how to adjust toner density, you can print a tips sheet from the control panel. A nice touch: The 7300DN's control panel LCD is backlit. From a browser window on your PC or network print server, you can easily keep an eye on the printer's status. Xerox's other documentation gets a neutral score. The printed setup and quick-reference guides consist mostly of illustrations and pointers to information on the CD-ROMs. The driver CD and another disc dedicated to documentation provide excellent animations showing how to set up and maintain the printer, but they rely on short, choppy Acrobat files for troubleshooting, network management, and other topics that should be addressed in detail.
Because of its single-pass LED array design and support for 12-by-18-inch paper, the 7300/DN is a bruiser, weighing 149 pounds and spreading across 26 inches of desk space (46 inches if you open the auxiliary trays); be sure to reserve a sturdy, free-standing table. But getting inside the 7300DN is easy: You just pop the lid open on its hinges as you would a car hood, which exposes the whole imaging system. You can stack the 7300DN on top of an optional, $1200 paper-feeder assembly that adds three 550-sheet drawers, or you can add a single 550-sheet feeder for $600. Knowing which paper tray to choose for a job can be challenging when the printer is on a network node halfway across the office, though the Xerox driver helps by querying the printer to learn what kind of paper each tray contains. If you fail to update the paper-type information on the control panel when you change paper sizes, however, the query feature will steer you wrong.
The 7300DN will meet your needs if your company demands high-productivity monochrome printing and also needs quick access to color.Dan Littman