Very much the quintessential workgroup printer, the Kyocera Mita FS-C5150DN is an impressive colour laser that's only let down by slightly disappointing performance.
On size alone, the Kyocera FS-C5150DN is something of a heavyweight, measuring an eye-watering 35kg. It has a huge footprint, seeming to stretch back for miles. But then, you look at the specifications, and it's not hard to see why.
For a start, there's the paper handling. The Kyocera FS-C5150DN's main paper tray is a standard (if tough) 250-sheet model. Add to that the 50-sheet multipurpose tray, and you have a model that turns out a capable but hardly astounding 300 sheets-worth as standard. However, you can then add not one but two additional 500-sheet trays - making a total of 1300 sheets. This is an amazing figure that makes the Kyocera a potential stand-out for text printing - even if the duty cycle of 50,000 pages a month seems rather low.
The Kyocera FS-C5150DN is also potentially strong when it comes to memory. A standard 256MB isn't to be sniffed at, but this can be pushed up to 1,280MB in total.
Users can opt for the Kyocera's ethernet interface in preference to USB. Wi-Fi facilities are also possible as an upgrade, but the PS159 add-on will set you back almost £300. The range of languages is good, with PCL version 6 and PostScript 3 offered, amongst others. The software provided is very good, with the KM Net Viewer a very comprehensive monitoring applet, and it's easy to control the printer using the web-based software interface. We also like the clear menu system on the Kyocera itself, and the addition of a USB port for flash drives is useful.
Kyocera Mita FS-C5150DN: Performance
The Kyocera FS-C5150DN doesn't quite live up to its expectations when it comes to performance. 18.1 pages per minute (ppm) for text churning is a very creditable figure, but it doesn't match up to those posted by the likes of the Canon i-Sensys LBP7750Cdn, Epson C3900DN or Xerox Phaser 6280V/DN. The duplexing doesn't see a dramatic fall, and 12.9ppm is still a decent figure.
Text is of good quality, with well-formed characters and reasonably dark lettering. Colour images are very balanced, with the subtle palette neither too dark or too light. Most of the details are handled competently, and the speed of 10.3ppm is fairly solid. The Kyocera wasn't the fastest to get started, though, and our two page PDFs took 17 seconds to print out.
The running costs are good, with the Kyocera proving the cheapest model to run in our latest printer group test - just 1.4p per page. Colour, at 8.6p, is a little more expensive, but this is still solid - it's certainly nowhere near the high asking price of the Lexmark C544dn, for example. We also like the lengthy two-year warranty.
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