Price: £1,610 plus VAT; 8200 DP £1,970; 8200 DX £2,980
The Phaser 8200N is an affordable choice for groups of creatives who need a full-featured, networkable colour printer but don’t require an expensive colour laser system. It’s also good for studios without full-time IT support, as it’s designed to make setup and administration as easy as possible. The printer uses blocks of waxy ink that taper to a V at one end to ease insertion and removal. Hot waxy ink has been known to emit pungent odours during large print jobs, but that didn’t happen in our tests. Xerox’s inking technology involves spraying melted ink onto a drum once before transferring it to the page. Theoretically, this process is faster than the one that four-pass colour laser printers use. In our speed tests, the Phaser 8200N produced text documents a bit pokily, at only 7.5 pages per minute (ppm). On the other hand, graphics zipped out at 2.9ppm – faster than some pricier colour laser printers we’ve tested, such as the Lexmark C720n, which prints graphics at 2ppm. Unfortunately, the 8200 didn’t produce consistently high-grade text. In some cases, it wasn’t much crisper than a good-quality inkjet’s output – though true Adobe PostScript 3 is built-in with 136 on-board fonts. The 8200N delivered vivid colours, but missed a few details, such as a strawberry’s tiny speckles in a cropped close-up photo. The Phaser 8200 is available in four different configurations. As well as the N version, there’s the cheaper non-network-enabled B; the DX – which ships with a duplex unit; and the MX, which includes a duplex unit and a 500-sheet extra tray. This printer isn’t for studios that want to produce large quantities of B&W text, or for those that need excellent colour prints. But if you print lots of colour drafts with text and graphics, this could be for you.