At a Glance
- Fast text speed; inexpensive toner
- Very steep price
- Abysmal graphics quality
Fast and built to last, we love this unitâs cheap toner but wish we could get a decent graphic.
The great big billy goat gruff of the three that also include the (relatively) little Xerox Phaser 3250/DN and the medium-size Xerox Phaser 3600/N, the Xerox Phaser 4510/N monochrome laser printer seems to have a mission in life: to print plain-text documents as quickly as possible. This it does–and very well, too–but we expected for more from a printer this expensive ($999 as of May 25, 2009).
The Phaser 4510/N excels at printing plain text but falters at printing graphics. Xerox claims a top engine speed of 45 pages per minute; and in our tests, text flew out at a rate of 39.7 ppm–putting the Phaser 4510/N just a shade behind our fastest machine to date, the Oki Printing Solutions B6500n. Graphics speeds slowed to average levels (about 7.5 ppm), but output quality plummeted. Photographic images tended to look dark and grainy, with a narrow range of contrast that obscured fine details. Even in solid color bars, we observed a distracting level of streakiness and horizontal banding. In fairness, none of the other expensive, high-volume monochrome printers we tested produced decent graphics output either, but this model’s prints were among the worst.
The printer is sturdy and expandable, with a sophisticated control panel. Its standard configuration holds 700 sheets of paper in a 550-sheet main input tray and a 150-sheet multipurpose tray. Both pieces felt stiff, well-reinforced, and ready to handle frequent paper reloads. You can add one or two more 550-sheet trays, or an automatic duplexer, for $299 each. The top output tray holds 500 sheets. Each tray comes with an intricate set of guides and locking buttons that, after some fiddling around, you can use to resize the guides to accommodate media from envelopes to legal-size pages. The control panel’s six-line, monochrome LCD gives you lots of room to read through menu items and status messages. Next to the LCD is an intuitively laid-out set of buttons for navigating and choosing settings.
Cheap toner is another big selling point for the Phaser 4510/N. The printer ships with a standard-size, 10,000-page cartridge. Replacing it with a cartridge of the same size costs $168, or an affordable 1.7 cents per page. Or you can move up to the 19,000-page high-yield cartridge ($237) to reduce costs to 1.2 cents per page–one of the lowest numbers we’ve seen for toner cost. The fuser and image drum will wear out at 200,000 print pages, and the maintenance kit to replace them sells for $285.
The Xerox Phaser 4510/N is well designed, cheap to maintain, and very fast. But you’ll be happier with it if you don’t try to use it to print graphics.