Combining surprisingly good print quality with decent specifications and a sub-£200 price tag, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 2500W is a fantastic deal.

The styling won't be to everyone's taste – we quite liked the flash blue top, but more sober business users may prefer a more uniform shade. Neither is the casing the most solid we’ve seen, although it's still a good deal sturdier than a typical inkjet.

The control panel is simple but useful, and the printer keeps you informed about such important matters as the amount of toner left. The 200-page input is more than we'd expect at this price point, and the design of the output tray makes it difficult for the paper to drop onto the floor.

The maximum resolution and RAM are fairly standard and, obviously at this price, no network facilities are included. The real-world print speeds are decent, with the Konica Minolta comfortably matching most of its rivals. But when we turn to print quality, it really stands out. Not only was text bold and cleanly defined (especially at the top resolution, where the printer still manages prints at a speed of 13.3ppm, or pages per minute), but the colour prints are vibrant and full of life. They don't perhaps pack in as much detail as those of a good inkjet, but for a sub-£200 colour laser, the output is excellent.

We did experience a few problems with the printer occasionally not being able to generate prints at the very highest resolution, but we could always get the 1,200x600 mode to work. The results with that were almost identical.

Refreshingly, the 2500W's running costs are very reasonable indeed. It should work out as a cheaper buy than the majority of sub-£200 colour lasers.

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2500W: Specs

  • Maximum resolution 2,400x600dpi
  • 32MB RAM
  • quoted print speed B=20ppm C=5ppm
  • actual print speed B=13.9ppm C=3.8ppm
  • USB 2.0
  • standard paper input 200 sheets
  • toner costs B=£60 C=£99 x 3
  • print life (pages) B=4,500 C=4,500 x 3
  • 1-year warranty
  • 430x395x341mm
  • 18.9kg
  • Maximum resolution 2,400x600dpi
  • 32MB RAM
  • quoted print speed B=20ppm C=5ppm
  • actual print speed B=13.9ppm C=3.8ppm
  • USB 2.0
  • standard paper input 200 sheets
  • toner costs B=£60 C=£99 x 3
  • print life (pages) B=4,500 C=4,500 x 3
  • 1-year warranty
  • 430x395x341mm
  • 18.9kg

OUR VERDICT

It's very hard to fault the Magicolor 2500W. A good inkjet will still prove a better option for dedicated colour graphics, but this is as good as most of the inkjets available. Add high-speed, laser-quality text and decent running costs, and this is easily the best low-priced colour laser we've seen.

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