capsule review

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2590MF Color Laser Multifunction Printer

At a Glance
  • Konica Minolta Magicolor 2590MF

    PCWorld Rating

    Although it prints surprisingly good photos, this MFP has too many limitations for the price.

Konica Minolta's biggest problem with its Magicolor 2590MF color laser multifunction is that better-designed machines (such as the Brother MFC-9440CN) can be had for around the same price. While this model works reasonably well, its design and scan quality could be better.

The core printer body is compact, but other features increase the overall size. Thick feet extend from the rear base of the machine to balance the top scanner unit, which is set back to allow easier access to the 100-sheet output tray. The standard input tray, which sticks halfway out the front, takes both plain paper (200 sheets) or envelopes and other thick media. The 50-sheet automatic document feeder is roomy. Paper-handling options are surprisingly pricey: A 500-sheet input tray (for plain paper only) costs $299, while a duplexer costs $399.

The control panel seems to aim for ease of use, offering a lot of one-touch buttons. The effort falls short, however, because the buttons are neither grouped logically nor (in some cases) labeled clearly; for instance, to select the type of document you're copying, you press a button labeled 'Quality'. A monochrome LCD shows brief text and rudimentary symbols, but the messages can be cryptic. A small included booklet covering basic operations is helpful.

Changing the toner cartridges is an involved, but not difficult, process. First you press a button on the front control panel to select the cartridge to be replaced. Then you lift the scanner unit and then a top panel, which brings with it a knot of internal mechanics. Under all that you'll find a small opening where the selected cartridge, installed in a carousel, is presented for your attention. If you want to replace another cartridge at the same time, you must start over--close up the machine completely, press the button, and so forth.

The machine ships with a 4500-page black cartridge (the only size available). It costs about $101 to replace, or about 2.2 cents per page--a little high. But the three 1500-page color cartridges that come with the printer cost nearly $83 each to replace, or 5.5 cents per color, per page, which is very expensive. Unless you print color infrequently, the higher-capacity 4500-page versions are a better deal, priced at a little over $154 each, or about 3.4 cents per page.

In our tests, the Magicolor 2590MF printed somewhat thick-looking text at a decent rate of 18.6 pages per minute (ppm), close to the vendor's spec of 20 ppm. Graphics printed slowly--around 2.4 ppm--and appeared yellowish but smooth. Copies also looked good. Color scans were disappointing, however, coming out extremely murky.

I know that multifunction printers are complex and challenging to design. If the Magicolor 2590MF cost less, I'd be more forgiving of its shortcomings.

--Melissa Riofrio

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Although it prints surprisingly good photos, this MFP has too many limitations for the price.

    Pros

    • Compact; decent speed and photo quality

    Cons

    • Confusing control panel
    • Limited standard paper handling
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