By Neil Bennett | on February 09, 2006
Price When Reviewed: 2556 . 2738 . 3484 . 4025
Pros: Low-cost, fast, with good output quality for the price.
Cons: Quality may not be high enough for many design studios.
Xerox may be known to designers for high-spec laser printers, but the Phaser 7400 is a low-cost A3+ unit going up against the likes of HP’s Color LaserJet 5550 and Oki’s C9600. The 7400 performs very well, but many studios will prefer to look to Xerox’s higher-end 7750 for peace of mind when it comes to proofs.
The 7400 is the fastest colour laser we’ve seen so far. Xerox claims 36ppm for both A4 and A3 colour prints – faster even than the 35ppm claimed by the 7750. In our real world tests, pitching the 7400 against the Phaser 7700, the low-cost unit showed its stripes.
Using Digit 96's Showcase section as a high-quality, high-coverage benchmark, the 7400 output the ten-page feature in one minute and 33 seconds – compared to the one minute and 41 seconds taken by the 7700. This works out at about 6.5ppm, which is impressively fast. The same pattern was seen when printing A3 spreads, with the 7400 leading the 7700.
The quality of the 7400’s output left it very much in the 7700’s dust. The new model’s output is spotty and less colour accurate. Against the 5550 and the older C9500 that we reviewed back in June (Digit 87), the 7400 held its own matching the output of both.
The 7400 is available with the usual set of options that add duplex and trays that can hold up to 3,000 sheets. It features a built-in Web server for managing the printer and downloading drivers – and offers password-protected security for when you need to print out your CV in a hurry.
For its price, the Phaser 7400 offers a great combination of speed and adequate quality, though it many not be high enough for the needs of a creative studio.
Max paper size: A3+
Interfaces: Ethernet/USB 2.0
PostScript 3: Adobe
Max speed (A3 colour): 36ppm
Max speed (A4 colour): 36ppm
Max speed (A3 mono): 40ppm
Max speed (A4 mono): 40ppm
Resolution (true/enhanced): 600dpi/1,200dpi
RAM (standard/max): 256MB/2GB
Processor speed: 800MHz
Paper weights: 64-270gsm