Color Laser Printer In The Test: Only One Convinced The Testers
Texts all print well, but many color lasers and combination devices show weaknesses in the Stiftung Warentest test when it comes to photos and graphics. Only one out of twelve devices were rated “good.”
No matter how digitally you work and learn, sooner or later, almost everyone needs a printer. This also applies to the home office and homeschooling, for example, when students have to print out worksheets or employees send reports by post. And if you are already buying a printer, it should be able to print out a few photos or a colorful picture.
This works with inkjet printers, some of which are available for well under a hundred euros. Laser printers are more expensive, but they are also faster and usually better, especially when it comes to text printing. In addition, the running costs for toner cartridges are often cheaper than those for ink cartridges. If you want to do more than just print, you can also use the multifunction device to scan and copy.
Stiftung Warentest has tested five color laser printers and seven combination devices for home use. They can be integrated into the home network via cable or WiFi. This is convenient because you can send print jobs to the printer from the sofa. Most importantly, the whole family can use one printer, regardless of where it is in the apartment. Some of the devices even have a fax function. That’s nice, but in the age of e-mail and chat groups, it is probably a dispensable feature for most users.
No Multifunctional Device Is “Good”
One printer emerged as the test winner, the Canon i-Sensys LBP623Cdw. While the testers rated all excellent quality devices for text printing, they only ordered the Canon printer with a “good” for color prints and at least “satisfactory” for photo prints. You don’t have to pay dearly for this quality. With 207 euros, this model is in the middle range, and its printing costs are the lowest in the test.
The testers also rate the print quality of the Ricoh P C300W as “good” overall, although it is significantly weaker than the Canon model when it comes to color printing.
None of the seven models tested were compelling in terms of multifunctional devices. Three HP devices were rated “satisfactory” in the photo printing category.
All others were only “sufficient” in these categories. The Ricoh M C250FWB delivers the best overall – but also the most expensive – prints. The HP Color Laser MFP 178nwg has been praised for its copier capabilities and small footprint.
Wait Until The Printer Picks Up Streaks
The experts at Stiftung Warentest have made two details suspicious in their test routines. On the one hand, there is the toner level indicator on the Lexmark multifunction device MC3224dwe. The testers’ observations show a decreasing supply of color toner even if you only print in black and white. “Users cannot rely on this ad,” says the test report. With this device, you have to print until streaks or gaps in the print image indicate a lack of toner.
The testers are also amazed at the apparent differences in the quality of color prints from Canon’s color laser printer compared to the multifunction device tested. Although both have the exact printing mechanism, the color print quality of the pure printer is significantly better than that of the combination device. The experts suspect the reason for the different software of the two models.