Konica Minolta MagiColor 2450
This $699 Konica Minolta MagiColor 2450 printer offers little to justify the extra cost over the almost identical-looking Konica Minolta MagiColor 2430DL and similar Xerox Phaser 6120n, both of which cost about $200 less.
On glossy paper our photos abounded with dithering patterns, and skin tones turned orange. On plain paper the same image looked grainy, with banding and horrific facial colors.
Text printing was heavy and fuzzy. Lines didn't look solid in our line art print. Only the grayscale print impressed us, as its overall lightness allowed for smooth gradients and good shadow detail in the image.
The printer doesn't have a manual bypass slot--you can feed envelopes only from the main tray. You can add a 40GB hard disk for $349; with it, you can store and print PDFs and password-protected documents.
Using the same high-capacity toner cartridges and imaging drum as the 2430DL, the 2450 offers estimated costs of 2.2 cents for black pages and 11.0 cents for color pages.
Like the 2430DL, the 2450 has a front USB port, though it doesn't do anything--yet. Konica Minolta says it will soon release a free firmware upgrade that will enable printing from PictBridge-compatible digital cameras.