Combining copying, printing, faxing, scanning and email functions, the colour laser Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF ought to be the ultimate all in one.
Setting up the Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF is harder than it should be. The printed guide covers hardware installation and mixes wordless, sometimes puzzling illustrations with a few written instructions in 19 languages. (The rest of the documentation - including an on-screen user guide and a printed guide to basic operations - is thorough and well executed.)
Installing the Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF via ethernet is a hassle - you have to load each component's driver manually. With USB, on the other hand, the drivers install themselves, though with scant explanation along the way.
The hulking Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF occupies 539x590x578mm, and weighs a massive 55kg. The 250-sheet output tray sticks out to one side, which seems awkward and increases the unit's footprint - as does unfolding the 100-sheet multipurpose tray.
The Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF's nondetachable main paper tray, which slides out from the base of the MFP, holds 250 sheets of letter-size paper (but not legal); an optional 500-sheet paper tray accepts both sizes.
Options abound: you can upgrade the Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF's RAM to a maximum of 1GB, or add a 40GB hard disk. Konica Minolta also offers a CompactFlash card adaptor for holding 256MB to 4GB cards, but you can't have the card adaptor and the optional hard drive installed simultaneously. A USB port next to the output tray lets you print from a digital camera or key drive, but the latter can't operate without the hard drive or CompactFlash adaptor.
As the engine's unusually high monthly duty cycle (up to 120,000 pages) indicates, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF is a workhorse multifunctional printer. Nevertheless, in our tests, its performance was about average.
The Konica Minolta Magicolor 4695MF's box specs claim a print speed of 25 pages per minute for both black text and colour graphics output, but we timed the Magicolor 4695MF at 20.9ppm and 3.4ppm, respectively. Per Konica Minolta, we used the PostScript driver; the Printer Control Language (PCL) driver might yield speedier results.
Output quality was very good except in the case of scanning. Black text was crisp but lacked delicacy. Colour prints looked realistic - slightly pinkish on fleshtones, slightly yellowish otherwise. Copies looked fine. Scans occurred speedily, but colours (especially fleshtones) in the images looked strangely murky. Konica Minolta confirmed that the scanning software has some issues, but it was unable to resolve them before this review went live. The vendor plans to update us on its progress as soon as possible.
Konica Minolta is generous with toner: even the starter sizes will last a while (3,000 pages each), and replacements are cheap.