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Ricoh Aficio GX 3000S

Ricoh Aficio GX 3000S

Quick dry ink, the fast print solution?

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The main factor that can affect the look of inkjet print is the way the ink seeps into the paper fibres. We expected the more viscous gels inks to bleed less in this way, but we were disappointed. In fact we saw quite a bit of feathering, where the outlines of characters take on a slightly spiky appearance and this was also apparent when printing black over colour. Bold text in normal sizes, 10-12pt, shows signs of infill within characters like ‘a’ and ‘o’, too.

Ricoh Aficio GX 3000S

Just a single 250-sheet tray as standard and no multi-purpose offering

Printing photos on glossy photo paper, which has to be loaded into the main paper tray, gives good results, perhaps not up to the precision and colour fidelity of the best Canon and HP machines, but serviceable in an office. Colour photocopies from the flatbed scanner lose quite a lot of definition and colour depth in comparison with originals, but would be OK for internal use. Yet, the maximum resolution of 600dpi is oddly mismatched with the quoted print resolution of 3,600 x 1,200dpi.

The four gels ink cartridges are the only consumables needed to run this machine, apart from an ink collection unit, which has a long service life of 18,000 pages. The black cartridge has a rated yield of 1,500 pages and each of the colour ones should last 1,000 pages. This gives a cost per page for black print of 1.9p and for colour 10.9p.

Again comparing with the OfficeJet Pro 8500, the page costs there are 1.2p and 4.8p, respectively. So, however you measure it, this is not a particularly cheap printer to run, particularly when printing colour, which is one of the main reasons for buying an inkjet, over a laser. The Aficio GX 3000S is quick, particularly when printing duplex, but gives print which is less attractive and more expensive than from some of its mainstream competitors. The gels technology appears to offer little advantage over more conventional ink.

Verdict

The Aficio GX 3000S has the feeling of a work in progress. Some basic facilities, such as a front-panel USB socket, a multipurpose tray and a network adapter are either unavailable or options. Although it has a duplexer and prints quickly, print quality isn't as good as from, for example, HP OfficeJet Pro models at around this price. ®

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Ricoh Aficio GX 3000S

Ricoh Aficio GX 3000S

Gel inks may enable faster than average print, but in other ways this is a bit basic.
Price: £240 RRP

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