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Kyocera Mita FS-C5200DN colour laser printer

Impressive running cost

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There's a walk-up USB print facility on the machine but, bizarrely, Kyocera Mita has positioned the socket at the back of the left-hand side panel. Hardly the most convenient place to plug in a USB stick, and it means you have to keep the whole of the left side of the machine clear and accessible to use the facility. When it comes to direct printing, the printer can handle PDF, JPG and TIF files.

Kyocera Mita FS-C5200DN

A clean design to the buttons and a backlit display make for easy control

The FS-C5200DN comes as standard with USB and 10/100Mb/s Ethernet and has good network monitoring software provided. Both PCL 6 and Postscript Level 3 are provided in emulation, as well as Kyocera Mita’s Prescribe language, so it should be relatively easy to run this machine with a mixed network of PCs and Macs.

Setting the printer up involves lifting the top cover and inserting the four toner cartridges, one each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Each of the colour cartridges is good for 6000 pages and the black cartridge can produce 7000, which should keep maintenance down. The drum is rated at 200,000 pages, so may well last the lifetime of the printer, though oddly its warranty covers it for that number of pages or just three years' use, which is a bit skimpy.

We had some trouble with a flashing alert on the printer's display indicating it was set to "envelope mode" and despite quite a lot of searching through manuals it was almost by chance we found a switch inside the machine which flicked from envelope to paper print. Something a bit more up-front in the manual or on the printer could have saved us some frustration.

Kyocera Mita rates the FS-C5200DN at 21ppm for black or colour print, and you may get somewhere near that if you're printing longer documents. Our five-page black text test took 25 seconds, which comes to 12ppm, but when we ran a 20-page document this rose to just under 18ppm. Switching the machine to duplex - a standard function on this model - brought it back down to 10.2ppm. A 15 x 10cm print on A4 paper took 13 seconds when printed from a PC, but 25 seconds from a USB drive.

Kyocera Mita FS-C5200DN

Stack up those paper trays...

Overall, for a colour laser printer costing around £500, these speeds are reasonable and it's good to see a printer where printing colour really doesn't drop the speed back from the speed of a straight black print. Our five-page text and colour graphics print took exactly the same time as the black text document, so you won't be waiting by the water cooler every time you print a colour page.

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