Out of the box the Epson Aculaser C1100 impresses, with solid build quality and styled looks. But the breadbin format gives the Epson Aculaser C1100 a larger than average footprint, and prospective buyers will have to sacrifice more desk space than they might want to. And while connectivity options are pretty standard, the Epson Aculaser C1100 is the only model in our round-up not to support ethernet.

Installation is painless, and the supplied software suite includes a useful but minimal collection of utilities. The Epson Aculaser C1100 bundles a remote status monitor; Epson's Web to Page tool, which splits web pages across multiple print pages; and OfficeReady Essentials, which offers 150 document templates for instant DTP (desktop publishing). Filling out the Epson Aculaser C1100's suite is Epson's barcode font, for quick barcode design.

The Epson Aculaser C1100's monochrome print performance is crisp, with a near instant time-to-print and a steady throughput of 17ppm. This isn't quite as fast as is quoted, but it's enough for everyday office use. Colour performance is disappointing, however. Time-to-print is just 15 seconds, but the Epson Aculaser C1100's colour engine isn't capable of more than 5ppm.

For a single colour page, this fast time-to-print means the Epson Aculaser C1100 wins on speed. On longer print runs the Epson Aculaser C1100 drops behind the competition. Running costs are on the high side, with 3.5p per page for the low capacity toner option and 1.2p per page for high-capacity cartridges.

The biggest win for the Epson Aculaser C1100 is print quality, which is outstanding. Natural colour balance and good skin tones, combined with plenty of colour punch, give the Epson the best quality in the entire round-up - even beating the far more expensive Oki C8800n.

See also:

Colour laser printer buying advice

HP 2700n

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2550

Lexmark C530dn

Oki C8800n

Xerox Phaser 6180

Epson Aculaser C1100: Specs

  • 2,400x1,200 hardware resolution
  • mono print speed quoted/actual = 25/17
  • colour print speed quoted/actual = 5/5
  • time to first print 15 seconds
  • standard paper input 180 sheets (max 500)
  • USB/parallel interface
  • standard toner = £52, 1,500 pages, 3.5p per page
  • hi-cap toner = £56, 4,500 pages, 1.2p per page
  • 445x445x439mm
  • 29kg
  • 2,400x1,200 hardware resolution
  • mono print speed quoted/actual = 25/17
  • colour print speed quoted/actual = 5/5
  • time to first print 15 seconds
  • standard paper input 180 sheets (max 500)
  • USB/parallel interface
  • standard toner = £52, 1,500 pages, 3.5p per page
  • hi-cap toner = £56, 4,500 pages, 1.2p per page
  • 445x445x439mm
  • 29kg

OUR VERDICT

The Epson Aculaser C1100 is a good choice for low-volume colour printing, with best of breed output quality, providing you don't mind the slightly higher than average running costs and slow colour output.

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