The Epson AcuLaser M2300D is mono laser printer with stacks of paper storage

Colour printers may create more fireworks, but as the number of reviews of mono laser printers in recent issues show, there’s still plenty of new models appearing that can’t go beyond greyscale.

In many respects this is unsurprising. For the typical business, for whom the ability to pump out colour photos may not be a priority, it’s speed and features that really count. With this in mind, this new Epson AcuLaser M2300D delivers plenty for its £101 price tag.

In total contrast to the Samsung ML-1865W, this Epson AccuLaser M2300D printer is neither petite or interestingly styled. Essentially, it’s a large block of plastic, and there’re no discernible signs of Epson trying to do anything to make it more attractive.

The design, following the traditional laser blueprint, is effective enough though, with the paper being fed in through the sturdy tray at the bottom, and then dropping out in the deep output tray carved into the top.

And the input capacity is considerable. A 250-sheet tray plus an extra 50-sheet tray adds up to a lot of potential paper for an almost sub-£100 model.

Should that not be enough, you can bolt on an additional 250-sheet tray – putting as much as 550 sheets at your disposal. Memory can also be expanded.

The Epson AcuLaser M2300D printer looks and feels tough on the outside, although we weren’t as impressed with the internal layout.

Indeed, it took us almost 20 minutes to install the rather awkward toner cartridge, a job rendered more awkward still by the highly confusing instructions.

The Epson AccuLaser M2300D isn’t a quiet printer, by any stretch of the imagination, and it was hard to ignore it while it was churning through page after page. In an office environment, that may be less likely to be an issue; but if you’re looking for a quiet model for a home office, this is unlikely to be ideal.

PCL6 (HP’s printer command language) support is offered on the Epson AcuLaser M2300D, and while there’s no network interface on this model, an enhanced version, the M2300DN costs an extra £40 and comes with just such a feature.

The Epson AcuLaser M2300D comes with a proud boast of being able to turn out 30 pages per minute. But while this figure may be a little wide of the mark, the Epson is still one of the fastest mono models we’ve seen, putting out exactly 20 pages per minute in testing. The text quality is very pleasant, with adequate letter definition and good thickness of characters – neither too light nor too dark.

There’s an automatic duplex option, which lets you print to both sides of the paper in one go. This cuts the speed by a rather hefty 40%, but still manages to hit a figure of around 12ppm, which is already as fast as many a simplex model, and may well make duplex a realistic (and cost-effective) option.

Mono graphics are fast (around 16.7ppm in testing), although there wasn’t the best attention to detail, and the prints were marred by some banding. Mono printers are rarely going to be used for graphics though, and for putting out the odd PowerPoint presentation, it’s fine.

The Epson AcuLaser M2300D is not the cheapest to run, working out at around 3.2p a page. This is a touch pricey, and we’d prefer to see it closer to 2.5p. Mono lasers typically have quite high running costs in comparison with their colour counterparts, a fact which we find constantly surprising.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict >>

See also:

Printing Advisor

Group test: what's the best budget printer?

Business Advisor

Epson AcuLaser M2300D: Specs

  • Monochrome laser printer
  • 1200x1200dpi resolution
  • quoted print speed B=30ppm
  • actual print speed B=20ppm
  • USB 2.0
  • 250 sheet input tray (plus 50-sheet tray)
  • auto-duplex
  • toner costs B=£95
  • print life (pages) B=3,000
  • 378 x 390 x 255mm
  • 11.5kg
  • Monochrome laser printer
  • 1200x1200dpi resolution
  • quoted print speed B=30ppm
  • actual print speed B=20ppm
  • USB 2.0
  • 250 sheet input tray (plus 50-sheet tray)
  • auto-duplex
  • toner costs B=£95
  • print life (pages) B=3,000
  • 378 x 390 x 255mm
  • 11.5kg

OUR VERDICT

The Epson AcuLaser M2300D isn't pretty, or small. It's not the easiest to install, nor is it discreet in operation. However, the performance is extremely fast and effective, while the potentially very strong paper handling facilities and automatic duplex are nice to see on a £101 printer. For text-churning, this is a swift-footed option that will rarely leave you waiting.

Find the best price