The following models scored the best results in our test
Kyocera FS-C5100DN - $1007
Dell 1320c - $399
Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C1110B - $301
HP Colour LaserJet CP1215 - $341
Using the table
Price paid: in July 2009.
Scores The overall score is made up of Print quality: 50%; Ease of use: 30%; Print speed: 20%.
Total annual energy cost see How we test, below, and Cost of ownership.
[A] Now replaced by 1320cn which includes a network card.
[B] Status events and alarms via bundled status monitor software.
[C] Optional 2 x 500-sheet trays.
How we test
Print quality Output quality is determined by assessing test documents designed to showcase fonts at various sizes, fine lines, tonal gradations, tone percentages, solid areas, patterns, detailed colour graphics, and a full-colour reference image, which provides a range of natural skin tones and background colours.
Print speed We print a variety of documents, including text, graphics and a combination of both, and record printing times for both black-only and colour documents. Multiple timing runs ensure consistency. We record results for peak ppm, average ppm, Acrobat ppm, and photo page speed.
Ease of use Our testers take into account hardware setup; installation of required software and additional supplied software; help and instructions, including any quickstart guide, manuals and onboard help system; controls, LCD panel (if any) plus navigation and configuration of settings; predefined profiles and ease of profile creation if available.
Energy cost Our testers repeatedly print a test document and measure the energy used by the printer over a set period and determine a kilowatt per hour power usage figure, then repeat this with the printer in idle mode and again in standby mode. Our yearly power consumption scenario assumes an eight-hour working day, five days a week, with the per-day calculation based on the printer being off for 16 hours, on standby for seven and a quarter hours, idle for 40 minutes and actively printing for five minutes. Working days are 260 per year and 105 non-working. Yearly consumption is calculated at 17c per kilowatt hour.
Toner usage Our testers load a new standard-capacity black toner cartridge and print test pages until the print quality begins to lessen. They then remove the cartridge, shake it and replace it as necessary to get a maximum page output figure. Similarly for the colour cartridges, they print batches of colour test pages until no more can be printed. In all cases, the number of output pages is recorded and all cartridges are weighed before and after printing and the amount of toner used is calculated.