capsule review

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2530DL

At a Glance
  • Konica Minolta Magicolor 2530 DL Color Laser

    PCWorld Rating

    The compact 2530DL can print directly from a digital camera and offers competitive costs per page.

The Konica Minolta 2530DL is a compact color laser with built-in networking features. At $399 (as of March 7, 2007), it costs $100 less than its predecessor, the 2430DL, did at release, and it offers a few improvements, including increased memory and lower accessory costs.

The 2530DL doubles the internal memory to 64MB, which enabled us to print high-resolution photos successfully from a digital camera attached to the printer's front-mounted PictBridge port. Without an expensive memory upgrade, however, the 2430DL could print only in draft mode.

Like all GDI-based printers, the 2530DL depends on your PC to render its pages. Konica Minolta provides a driver that lets the 2530DL work with Macs as well as with Windows PCs. The simple control panel includes a two-line LCD that's simplifies the task of entering setup parameters, such as the image quality and image size to use when printing from the PictBridge port.

The single paper tray holds 200 sheets of paper or 10 envelopes. You can add an optional 500-sheet paper tray for $199 and an optional duplexer for $229.

At 17.3 pages per minute, the 2530DL's text printing speed lags behind most other budget-priced color lasers we've tested recently, but its 2.6-ppm speed for plain-paper graphics and 2.0-ppm speed for glossy photos are closer to average.

In our tests, the 2530DL produced heavy-looking but well-formed text characters with crisp edges. Line art was quite dark, too, with some minor horizontal banding. Our grayscale print had a yellow-brown tint and overly dark shadows. On plain paper, our color samples showed plenty of detail in the darkest areas but had inaccurate colors. At the 2530DL's highest quality setting, photos printed on glossy paper exhibited good contrast and shadow detail, but off colors and grainy dithering patterns.

The printer comes with toner cartridges rated to last for just 1500 pages each. High-capacity replacement cartridges rated for 4500 pages each cost $85 for black and $130 for each color. You can save a little extra by purchasing a bundle of all three color cartridges for $349. The $149 drum cartridge has a lifetime of 45,000 black pages or 11,250 color pages, yielding an estimated cost of 2.2 cents per page for black-and-white output and 11 cents per page for color prints. That's quite reasonable for a budget-priced printer.

The Konica Minolta Magicolor 2530DL is an economical choice for printing text and photos, if space and convenience are more important to you than print quality. It will appeal especially to professionals in need of quick, tolerable-quality photo prints from a digital camera.

Paul Jasper

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    The compact 2530DL can print directly from a digital camera and offers competitive costs per page.

    Pros

    • PictBridge port
    • Low costs per page

    Cons

    • Low capacity toner cartridges in box
Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.