The Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN is a small, low-capacity printer that nicely fills the home-office niche.

The Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN is an inexpensive colour laser printer that produces beautiful black text and vibrant colour images, and offers reasonably priced (albeit low-capacity) ink cartridge replacements.

One of the first network colour laser printers to break the £200 mark, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN is an affordable home-office printer.

With its compact, opaque plastic design, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN is one of the smallest colour lasers we've reviewed. It's also comparatively lighter than other leading colour laser printers, but at 15.1kg it's by no means portable.

Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN: printing costs

On the surface, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN has economics on its side. It has the lowest price of any colour laser printer we've encountered; as of press time, it bests its lowest priced competitors. And with that you get standard features such as USB 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet, and PostScript 3 emulation. Toner cartridges are relatively inexpensive.

But lower prices can be misleading. The purchase prices of the 1650EN's black and colour cartridges seem reasonable, because of their low capacities the printer carries a higher price per page than its competition.

Print yields are analogous to paper capacity with the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN. The 200-page paper tray is on the small side and its inability to perform duplexing as a standard feature makes the 1650EN a poor fit for businesses with high-capacity printing requirements. You can purchase a hardware add-on to give the 1650EN duplexing abilities, but users who need it will likely also need a higher-capacity printer.

Unfortunately, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN is exceptionally slow. For offices with heavy black text printing requirements, printing 10 pages in 52 seconds is painfully slow. A single page took 26 seconds to print.

Colour printing for the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN was equally sluggish. While the top laser printers on the market took 30 to 60 seconds to print our 22MB Photoshop image, the 1650EN took a nonchalant 3 minutes and 50 seconds to print this same picture. The 1650EN finished the 4-page PDF test in 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Despite its slothful speed, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN does turn out high-quality documents. In our jury tests, the black text was judged to be of Superior quality, while our Photoshop image quality and Fine Lines and Gradients tests earned Very Good scores from our judges - though only after running an, as yet unreleased, firmware update we received from the company that fixed an error where certain graphic elements failed to print.

Konica Minolta representatives say that the firmware update is undergoing final testing and will be available from its support website soon. In the meantime, owners of the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN calling Konica Minolta's tech support with this issue will be offered the pre-release update.

Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN: Specs

  • Colour Laser Technology
  • Standard Resolution: 600x600dpi
  • Paper Size: (Max.) A4
  • Paper Handling Input 1: 200 Sheet Multi-purpose Tray
  • Paper Handling Standard Output: 100 Sheets Face Down Output Tray
  • Memory (Maximum): 256MB
  • Network Ready
  • 10 Base-T/100 Base-T
  • PostScript 3 (3016), PCL 6 (XL3.0) PCL 5e/c
  • 220 to 240VAC/50 to 60Hz
  • 396x380x275mm
  • 15.1kg
  • Colour Laser Technology
  • Standard Resolution: 600x600dpi
  • Paper Size: (Max.) A4
  • Paper Handling Input 1: 200 Sheet Multi-purpose Tray
  • Paper Handling Standard Output: 100 Sheets Face Down Output Tray
  • Memory (Maximum): 256MB
  • Network Ready
  • 10 Base-T/100 Base-T
  • PostScript 3 (3016), PCL 6 (XL3.0) PCL 5e/c
  • 220 to 240VAC/50 to 60Hz
  • 396x380x275mm
  • 15.1kg

OUR VERDICT

The compact Konica Minolta Magicolor 1650EN can be ideal for low-capacity printing in a home or small business setting. Though replacing the consumables is cheap, you’ll do it often and will have to absorb a higher price per page. Businesses with high-capacity printing needs should be wary of this product, but home users who may never burn through thousands of pages may find the 1650EN more appealing. In a home setting, the 1650EN’s comparatively slow printing speeds will be outweighed by the printer’s strong colour and black text printing quality. The market has been slow to produce a colour laser printer economical enough for a home setting, and the 1650EN may just satisfy that niche.

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