The administrator in my office seems to do very little work and instead spends his days inanely chattering to people and searching the web for bargains. One of his magic bargains that I could not pass up was the Ricoh Aficio Gelsprinter printer for a mere £15 from Amazon marketplace; it is currently for sale for Amazon for £139. It is the same printer we have in the office for letters and other high quality printing (everyday documents go to the cheaper printer) and he assured me I would be able to get cheap ink from the guy who services the photocopier. It seemed like a deal which was too good to be true but knowing Amazon's good reputation for customer service (even on marketplace transactions) I decided to give it a punt.
The printer was easy to set up on arrival, a case of clicking the ink cartridges into place and plugging it in. It should be noted that the installation disc was not compatible with Windows 7 but I managed to download the software online. This is a fairly large printer, larger than most home printers at 44 by 41 by 29 cm and weighing in at 13kg so does need a bit more space. It can be used as part of a network but does not seem to have a wireless connection so would need to be connected the old fashioned way.
In use the printer is very fast and reasonably quiet. The slowest part of the process is when the printer is collating the document which generally takes up to a minute and then the documents come zooming out. It is especially good for high volume printing, I often have to print out large documents for my studies and so the speed is brilliant for me.
The quality of the print is excellent, as you would expect from an inkjet printer. It is not advertised as a photo printer but rather a legal printer but I have been extremely impressed with the quality of graphics and photos finding them clear and sharp. The paper tray takes a whole packet of paper at a time in various sizes up to A4 and the size guides inside the paper tray work well. Unfortunately it only does one sided printing.
This is a clever printer meaning that if you ever have a problem then it diagnoses itself and tells you how to fix it. The only problem I have had is a paper jam and I appreciated being able to open the side of the printer to roll the paper on. All parts of the printer are easily accessible from the ink to the rollers and electronics should you need to do anything to any of them.
The only downside to the printer is the cost of ink. It takes four cartridges, black, red, blue and yellow and each one of them costs £60 r.r.p. and the cheapest I have seen them is £30. It is a relatively uncommon brand of ink so you cannot buy cheaper copies and because the cartridges are not sold in bulk the major ink suppliers do not try to compete on price. Having said that, each cartridge prints 1500 pages making each page come in at 2p each which is good value. I mainly use black but I will admit that the high cost of replacing all the colour cartridges puts me off letting my daughter print her artwork out.
The Ricoh Afico 2500 is a good printer, designed for office use but also good for your home office. It is not the ideal printer for most family use due to the large size and the fact it does not have a built in scanner or copier. It is good for home offices where you do a high volume of printing giving excellent quality at a reasonable price.