capsule review

Konica Minolta Magicolor 4650EN Color Laser Printer

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At a Glance
  • Konica Minolta Magicolor 4650EN

Konica Minolta's Magicolor 4650EN color laser printer competes well with other recently tested models in our rankings. It's a little less expensive but not quite as fast or full-featured as the Oki Printing Solutions C5500n. On the other hand, the like-priced Samung CLP-660ND is much slower. For smaller offices or workgroups, the Magicolor 4650EN would be a solid choice.

In our PC World Test Center tests, this Konica Minolta printer posted competent midrange speeds of 23.1 pages per minute for plain text and 3.9 ppm for graphics. Text samples looked black and clean. Graphics looked detailed. Photos had a yellowish cast that was distracting at times.

In view of its bulk and weight, the Magicolor 4650EN has a few surprising limitations, but overall it seems well built and thoughtfully designed. A PictBridge port aids photo printing. The 250-sheet main paper tray slides out from the printer on rails (it doesn't detach); that extra support probably increases the component's sturdiness. Though legal-size (8.5-by-14-inch) paper is less commonly used than standard (8.5-by-11-inch) paper, we were surprised that the printer's main input tray accepts only the latter. To print legal-size pages, you have to load them in the 100-sheet side auxiliary tray (which is nicely designed) or invest in the optional 500-sheet feeder ($255). Pages exit into a top, 200-sheet output tray. A related unit, the Magicolor 4650DN, includes duplexing (two-sided printing) and costs $799 at this writing.

It's hard to go wrong with the well-designed control panel. The four-line monochrome LCD is backlit for easy readability. Though the dual-function button for summoning the menus or selecting a setting can be confusing, word labels indicate both possibilities. The submenus cover a wealth of features and are logically organized.

The consumables load separately, which makes them trickier to replace (though again documentation is quite good) and somewhat more cost-effective. The printer ships with 3000-page starter toner supplies for each color. The highest-yield replacements (8000-page cartridges) work out to a reasonable cost of 1.4 cents per page for black and 2.1 cents per page for color. Supplies with 4000-page lives are available, as well. The separate drum, fuser, and transfer-belt components add almost a half-cent to the cost per page.

When matched against other printers in its price range, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 4650EN does as good a job as any at balancing features, capabilities, and cost. Unless you print on legal-size paper, this model is well worth considering.

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At a Glance
  • This competent color laser is both well priced and well made.


    • Inexpensive; speedy text printing
    • Sturdy construction


    • Photos look yellowish
    • Standard tray fits only letter/A4 paper
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