We had a hard time trying to find something nice to say about the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP monochrome laser multifunction printer. It can print, scan and copy but none of these functions are easy to use.
The base model of the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP monochrome laser multifunction lacks both an automatic document feeder and fax capabilities. Fortunately, both are available in the Phaser 3100MFP/X for a few pounds more.
The Xerox Phaser 3100MFP is a squat unit that has a 250 sheet paper cassette and a single sheet manual feeder. The output tray sits between the scanner and toner cover. It only accepts 50 sheets at a time, and the fixed control panel can make it difficult to retrieve printed documents.
Though the back panel has room for an Ethernet port, the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP laser multifunction is only offered with a USB 2.0 connection. A second USB port on the front allows you to scan to and print from flash drives. However, the printer will only recognise TXT, TIFF and JPEG documents on the drive; Word documents and PDFs aren't supported.
The Xerox Phaser 3100MFP's control panel is basic, but poorly labelled and illogically designed. You get the standard controls: a keypad, directional pad and quick-access buttons for scan, copy and print functions. There's even a paper clip holder, but the shallow inset and tilted position of the panel are less than ideal.
Buttons on the left of the panel allow you to configure the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP's energy-saving mode, print configuration reports and alter display contrast. A "resolution" button chooses one of three scan quality settings, but the tiny lit up icons on the LCD display don't tell you the actual quality of each setting.
Most confusing of all is the menu interface itself. Displayed on a two-line monochrome LCD, the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP's menu is odd to navigate. Options are usually placed in illogical menus; to change the language, for instance, you have to navigate to "Geographical" settings (it is the only option in that section of the menu).
There is a function lock setting, allowing you to password protect use of the Phaser 3100MFP's keypad, USB flash drive access or all functions under a chosen PIN code. Unfortunately, there is no option to mute or lower the keypad volume, which quickly becomes annoying.
The Xerox Phaser 3100MFP lacks a web-based interface, so you'll have to suffice with the bundled Xerox Companion software. It is as confusing and basic as the control panel itself. The software provides toner usage information as well as the ability to configure the scan profiles on the printer. You can also view a virtual version of the printer's LCD display, but without any ability to actually navigate and manipulate the menu interface, this feature is largely useless.
One consolation is that the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP monochrome laser multifunction can print Sudoku grids. The printer has a total of 297 different Sudoku grids in easy, medium and hard difficulties, and it can print solutions for each of them.
Print speed is reasonable considering the price, and the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP is quick to wake from its energy-saving mode.
Print quality is also quite good. There are no quality settings that would speed up the printer, but there is a Toner Save mode. During all our tests, accuracy was quite good over various font sizes though text can often appear dark grey rather than black.
The Xerox Phaser 3100MFP will scan to both USB-connected computers and flash drives. Quality is good, though the 600dpi hardware resolution won't produce outstanding images.
The high capacity black toner for the Xerox Phaser 3100MFP monochrome laser multifunction will yield 4000 pages.
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