capsule review

Xerox Phaser 6140/N

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Xerox Phaser 6140 Laser Printer

    PCWorld Rating

Xerox's Phaser 6140/N color laser printer aims for the budget-minded SMB market with its $399 price (as of 10/6/2009). It delivers what you could reasonably expect for that cost, namely, adequate performance and a good feature set. Compared with like-priced models, it's a lot more expandable than HP's Color Laserjet CP1518ni but ranks slightly behind Lexmark's C543dn in both performance and features.

As noted, the Phaser 6140/N offers a good set of standard features, plus a little room to grow. The 250-sheet main input tray includes a manual-feed slot. An additional 250-sheet input tray costs $199. The 150-sheet output tray has a fairly sturdy, pull-out rear extension. A duplexing accessory costs $149 extra. By comparison, HP's Color Laserjet CP1518ni has a smaller input tray and lacks duplexing or paper options, while Lexmark's C543dn has a bigger second-tray option and standard duplexing.

The straightforward control panel on the Phaser 6140/N includes a 2-line monochrome LCD and labeled buttons that are largely self-explanatory. One exception: The sleep button has an icon, but no word label. It is not clear that you press this button to wake up the printer. But I liked the PrintingScout application that you can install from the software CD: It lets you monitor the printer via a Web page and offers plain-English status and error messages.

The Phaser 6140/N performed well below average compared to other color lasers we've tested. Printed text plodded out at a rate of 13.4 pages per minute, while various color graphics averaged about 2 ppm. Overall, it's a littler faster than HP's Color LaserJet CP1518ni, but noticeably slower than Lexmark's C543dn.

As with most low-cost color lasers we've tested, the Phaser 6140/N handled text quality well, but color graphics, less so. Simpler images like color bars and pie charts looked fine, but photos appeared grainy, even at a higher-quality driver setting. Dell's 2130cn prints better photos and actually costs less, but its toner costs are exorbitant.

The Phaser 6140/N's toner costs are average. The machine ships with starter-size, 1000-page black (K), cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y) cartridges. Standard-size replacements all cost $90 and include a 2600-page black cartridge (3.5 cents per page) and 2000-page color cartridges (4.5 cents per color, per page). A page with all four colors would cost 17 cents. The cartridges load pretty easily from a side door and are keyed.

Xerox's Phaser 6140/N offers basic color capabilities for a small office or department, and it does so at a low price. But it prints very slowly, making Lexmark's C543dn a better option in this price range.

--Melissa Riofrio

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

    This low-cost color laser offers good features and expandability for the price, but the tradeoffs are very slow print speeds and limited graphics capability.


    • Very inexpensive
    • Good design and features for the price


    • Color photos look grainy
    • Very slow printing both text and color images
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.