• Price: 2395

  • Company: Konica-Minolta

  • Pros: Excellent colour-fidelity and a wide colour gamut. Good all-round image quality with no banding.

  • Cons: Ugly, with a frustrating paper-feed system.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

For a model focused on high-quality graphics, Konica Minolta’s latest laser printer is incredibly ugly. We don’t expect laser printers to have the same aesthetics as Apple hardware, but the Magicolor 7450 looks like a 1970s Soviet housing project.

Thankfully, the 7450’s output is much more attractive. Colours are vibrant or subtle as necessary, and there’s no banding across solid areas. The output gamut and colour accuracy isn’t as wide or high as a high-end printer such as Xerox’s Phaser 7760, but it’s better than the Phaser 7400 model that the similarly named 7450 is priced against.

The 7450 isn’t the fastest laser printer on the market, but it’s no slouch – helped by a Gigabit ethernet port for speeding delivery of large jobs. Compared to Digit’s own laser printer – a Xerox Phaser 7700 – the 7450 took up to 50 per cent longer to produce this issue’s Showcase section.

We also fed the 7450 an intricate EPS illustration to check out its PostScript capabilities. While it took only two-thirds the time of the Phaser 7700 – and the file was rendered accurately – we’re still put off by the use of emulated PostScript rather than Adobe’s own. Experience tells us that the official version is much more reliable than any emulated version we’ve encountered.

As you’d expect, the 7450 offers the usual range of extra trays and duplex options. Installation is easy, especially on a Mac where the 7450 supports Apple’s Bonjour (neé Rendevous) automatic network location technology.

Feeding frenzy

The Magicolor 7450’s only main flaw is a scatterbrained automatic paper and tray management system. You have to specify which tray you want the 7450 to take paper from. If you leave it on Auto in the printer driver, the 7450 will often chuck out a paper size mismatch error or try to print on the wrong size and then sometimes jam. This aside, unless you need the workhorse power and colour accuracy of the Xerox Phaser 7760, the Magicolor 7450 is a good laser printer.