Product Type: Epson printers
Newest Review: ... cartridges is very easy. Toner cartridges aren't cheap if you buy the genuine Epson replacements, but I've had great success with copy ... more
Excellent printer for the money
Epson Aculaser C900
Member Name: BorisHotch
Epson Aculaser C900
Date: 04/04/04, updated on 05/10/04 (1998 review reads)
Advantages: Good printouts, Cheap to buy
Disadvantages: Bit Noisy, Price of Toners
It's only recently that the prices have come down for colour lasers, so they are now in the price range for the small office.
We have only just recently bought our third C900, having had several of the older Epson C1000 printers before.
Needing to get another laser, my first intentions were to get another C1000, but they had unfortunately been replaced by the smaller (and cheaper) C900 so we thought we would give it a try. Luckily for us, the gamble has definately paid off.
The printer is of average size for a printer of this type (about the size of a 21" TV) so can just about fit on a desk, but we found it far better to stick ours on a small table beside the desk. It is best to get someone to help when you have to move it though, as it weighs nearly 30kg.
It takes a couple of minutes to power on and get itself sorted out for printing, but thats not really a problemif you switchit on at the same time as the computer itself. The starting routine is a bit noisy though, but the actual printing noise isn't really excessive.
One thing we have found is that the Toner Cartridges are quite a bit smaller than the older C1000, so you can't print quite as many pages per cartridge as before.
It costs approx £60 (inc VAT) for a new black Toner Cartridge and up to a £110 (inc VAT) for each of the colour toners (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) so the strange thing is that it is not much more expensive to buy a new printer than it is to replace a full set of toners, especially if you are getting towards the end of the Drum and any other consumables as well.
I have been told by someone at PC World that the toners that come wit
h the printer aren't as full as the replacement ones. I dont know if this is accurate or not, but I personally havent seen much of a difference, after all, you ca
n only fit so much powder in a plastic tube.
As to the printer itself, it comes in a big box, so it can be a bit of a tight squeeze getting it into a car. The only way I could do it was to fold down the front passenger seat and squeeze it in and then onto the back seat with the box sat on top of the flat front seat. Not ideal, but hadn't thought of taking it out of the box and binning the packaging. Know better for next time.
The printer has both normal parallel and USB connection, so is very easy to set up, with no problems in both Windows 98 and XP. The printer has a paper capacity of 200 sheets of paper, so you don't have to keep it up all the time.
When it comes to replacing the toners, they are very straight forward to change, with just pulling the used one out (they stand out a mile where they are after opening the front cover) and pushing the new cartridge in. The printer then takes about a minute going through all it's checks, clunking and whurring away, and then it's back to printing. Be aware that small fingers would be an advantage as the holes to pull the old Cartridge out are fairly small.
It has a resolution of 600 dpi x 600 dpi, giving very good quality prints, with the solid shades of colour being very sharp and there being no visible signs of banding.
It is capable of taking a variety of types of media, with most of our usage being for printing CD Labels, which print with no problems concerning the labels themselves.
We have had some problems with other colour laser printers and CD Labels, primarily to do with the heat generated, but so far we haven't ever had a problem with any of our C9
00's. They have also all been very reliable to date, with absolutely no down time due to faults.
The specs say a printing speed of 16 pages per minute of Black and White and 4 pages per minute for colour documents, which seems quite accurate in the real world, with B&W prints st
arting within a few seconds of pressing Print to up to 1 minute for a full colour page. Not extremely fast for the colour start, but, for the money, whats a few seconds between friends?
Another little extra is that Epson regularly have promotional offers of free software or hardware when you buy the printer, but this isn't particularly well advertised, so look carefully through all the paperwork as you get it out of the box.
Overall, I am very happy with our C900's, and would strongly recommend them to anyone who has the space and high printing needs for a colour laser printer.