Well I'm coming to the end of a tough week at work and, since my colleague went on her lunch break over 2 hours ago, I feel it's about time I had a little chill out time. And of course there's nothing more therapeutic and relaxing in life than knocking back a strong black coffee and reviewing your work fax machine. Whilst it may be older than I am, I can't really find fault with this fax and it's perhaps the most reliable fax I have encountered during my time in various offices within the NHS.
The Panasonic Panafax UF-585 is a big and sturdy fax machine that might look a little archaic and cumbersome but has proven to be a faithful and dependable tool in my everyday fight against bureaucracy and red tape. According to the Dooyoo product description it has 'a compact design, small enough to fit on any desktop.' Unfortunately, this I struggle to agree with this as it is currently perched on top of a fridge and takes up the entire surface. I have a large desk but if my fax were to cohabit my desk with my PC, telephone and in tray, there would be little space for me to get anything done.
As with a lot of faxes on the market nowadays, the Panafax offers a black and white photocopying facility. It isn't the brightest of sparks when it comes to photocopying and producing 1 black and white copy of a simple word document can take a couple of minutes but the quality of the copy is good and if it saves me a ten minute walk to the nearest photocopier, who am I to complain? Obviously, it's far from ideal as a machine to use for regular photocopying but for the occasional copy it's worth having the functionality available.
As for its main purpose, the Panasonic UF-585 is essentially a fax machine and doesn't purport to be anything but. It isn't all singing and dancing but that is perhaps why it has turned out to be a solid and sturdy bit of equipment. There is a large paper try which hold 250 sheets of paper and there is a visible paper gauge at the front of the machine to enable you to see at a glance when it requires refilling. The fax uses a black cartridge which is easy to install and the usage has been very impressive. In 14 months, I have yet to change the cartridge on my fax and it still prints with fantastic quality. I receive / copy an average of 10 A4 sheets a day. Obviously, it isn't a dramatic amount but I still think the 14 month life on the toner has proven to be very economical considering the usage it does get.
If you've ever used a fax machine before then the Panafax is easy to set up and very much self explanatory. I inherited the machine without instructions but fortunately it's easy to operate and most functions are obvious to even the most naïve of office users. Fortunately, as well as a multitude of irritating alerts, there is a quick and quiet one ring signal to alert you to the arrival of a new fax. When sending and receiving faxes the old boy does seem to sigh on occasion but it isn't particularly noisy or irritating when doing so.
It may not be the fastest of machines. Sending faxes averages about 40 seconds per page and receiving takes 1 minute plus per page but in the last 14 months I've had 2 paper jams, never had to change the toner and have had no problems to note. Yes it's bulky, and no doubt it's very much out of date but it's a reliable workhorse and it's such a rarity to find technology you can rely on these days. Many of the electronics in my office are like the men in my life (not to be trusted), but I'm prepared to make an exception for my Panafax. My colleagues don't know I'm moving offices next week. I wonder if they'll miss me more or the fax?