Xerox WorkCentre 6505/DN Review: Good MFP, High Toner Prices
At a Glance
Xerox's WorkCentre 6505/DN offers better speed and print quality than many color laser multifunction printers we've seen, for a good midrange price of $749 (as of July 12, 2011). It possesses all of the strong features of the Xerox Phaser 6500 standalone printer on which it's based, but also the one notable flaw: expensive toner.
The WorkCentre 6505 was easy to install. Unlike the similarly priced Oki MC561, it permitted scanning across our network right out of the box. The printer supports both USB and ethernet. The WorkCentre 6505's software bundle includes PaperPort 16 SE and OmniPage 11 SE for document scanning and management chores. The control panel is well laid out, and we had no problem understanding the menu structure or navigating through the various options.
The Xerox MFP's paper-handling features include a 250-sheet paper cassette with a manual-feed slot and a 150-page output tray. An optional second 250-sheet input tray costs $199. The unit has a letter/A4-size scanner platen, and the 35-page automatic document feeder accepts up to legal-size documents. Scanning through the ADF is simplex (single-sided) only, but duplex (double-sided) printing and copying are standard. With the 6505's slightly more basic, $649 cousin, the Xerox WorkCentre 6505/N, duplexing is manual and is available only through the PCL driver.
Speed is a highlight of the WorkCentre 6505. Its 533MHz processor and 256MB of RAM (upgradable to 768MB) give it more than enough power to serve a typical workgroup. Plain-text pages and our monochrome newsletter exited at a rate of just over 15.1 pages per minute on the PC and at 14.3 ppm on the Mac. On the PC, snapshot photos arrived at a faster-than-average rate of 3 ppm at default settings on plain paper and at a slower-than average 1.4 ppm at better settings on glossy paper. A full-size photo printed on the Mac took a hair under 2 minutes to emerge.
Print, scan, and copy samples from the WorkCentre 6505 varied from pleasing to disappointing. Not surprisingly, text output was flawless. Photo output was better than we've seen from most color laser and LED printers, with realistic (though slightly light) coloring, and mild background graininess and banding. Color copies were also good. Monochrome scans were very crisp. Color scans, however, tended to be murky and fuzzy-looking.
High toner costs are the most disappointing aspect of the WorkCentre 6505; in fact, they resemble inkjet prices more than laser prices. The printer ships with 1000-page cartridges for all four colors. The 3000-page replacement black cartridge costs $106, which works out to a pricey 3.5 cents per page. Color cartridges come in two sizes: 1000-page models for $65 apiece (6.5 cents per color), and 2500-page models for $110 apiece (4.4 cents per color). A four-color page would cost between 16.7 and 23 cents. It appears you're stuck with these prices, too: We couldn't find significant discounts when shopping online.
The Xerox WorkCentre 6505/DN covers workgroup needs competently in many ways, which makes its high toner costs and other shortcomings all the more disappointing. If you need a printer that manages decent photo quality, however, this model is a better choice for the price than the Oki MC561.