Xerox Phaser 7300N
At a Glance
Xerox Phaser 7300N (37 PPM, 2400x2400 DPI, Color, 192MB) (PC/Mac)
Pricey model was very fast at text and graphics printing, though colors looked dark. Has a built-in print server.
The $3899 Xerox Phaser 7300N performed well almost across the board, delivering fast speeds and generally good print quality in our tests. It's also a behemoth, weighing 150 pounds and measuring 26 inches wide and 25 inches deep. But its sizable girth allows it to handle a variety of paper sizes, including tabloid and wide-format banner (12 by 36 inches).
The 7300N outshone its opponents in text speed, spitting out sheets at 24.5 pages per minute--3 ppm faster than the second-place finisher, the Dell 5100cn. It also clocked the third-fastest speed for color graphics, printing our test pages at 5.5 ppm. The model we saw came equipped with a healthy 192MB of RAM standard; the memory is expandable up to 512MB.
Though the 7300N uses an LED rather than a laser to place the image on the printer drum, the difference will be transparent to users. In addition to swift printing speeds, the 7300N earned some great scores for print quality. Like most lasers it printed text extremely well, with dark, sharp letters. We were also impressed with its ability to clearly separate even very narrow parallel lines. Our test black-and-white photograph had a choppy texture but showed good detail. The device had the most trouble printing color graphics, which had a few dark, muted colors and murky detail in sections; the 7300N reproduced detail better than color, but we found adjusting the color in the driver easy.
The printer has a fair number of paper-handling options. The 650-sheet capacity may not be enough for large offices with high-volume printing needs, but you can expand the unit to a maximum of 2850 sheets (paper tray options include a $599, 550-sheet tray and a $1199, 1650-sheet tray). An optional 10GB hard drive, priced at $499, can store numerous jobs for later printing.
Toner cartridges are available for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, in both standard (up to 7500 pages; $200 per color cartridge, $80 for black) and high-capacity (up to 15,000 pages; $280 per color cartridge, $150 for black). Xerox rates the imaging units (there's one for each color) to last for up to 30,000 pages; a replacement kit for all three colors costs $520, while the black imaging unit alone costs $150.
The Phaser 7300N would suit a large workgroup that demands quick printing and flawless text.