Xerox's WorkCentre 6505DN offers better speed and print quality than many colour laser multifunction printers we've seen, for a good midrange price of £504. It possesses all of the strong features of the Xerox Phaser 6500 standalone printer on which it's based, but also the one notable flaw: expensive toner.
The Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN was easy to install. Unlike the similarly priced OKI MC561dn, it permitted scanning across our network right out of the box. The printer supports both USB and ethernet. The WorkCentre 6505's software bundle includes PaperPort 16 SE and OmniPage 11 SE for document scanning and management chores.
The Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN's control panel is well laid out, and we had no problem understanding the menu structure or navigating through the various options.
The Xerox MFP's paper-handling features include a 250-sheet paper cassette with a manual-feed slot and a 150-page output tray. An optional second 250-sheet input tray can be purchased. The unit has a letter/A4-size scanner platen, and the 35-page automatic document feeder accepts up to legal-size documents. Scanning through the ADF is simplex (single-sided) only, but duplex (double-sided) printing and copying are standard. With the 6505's slightly more basic, and cheaper, cousin, the Xerox WorkCentre 6505/N, duplexing is manual and is available only through the PCL driver.
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Speed is a highlight of the Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN. Its 533MHz processor and 256MB of RAM (upgradable to 768MB) give it more than enough power to serve a typical workgroup. Plain-text pages and our monochrome newsletter exited at a rate of just over 15.1 pages per minute on the PC and at 14.3 ppm on the Mac. On the PC, snapshot photos arrived at a faster-than-average rate of 3 ppm at default settings on plain paper and at a slower-than average 1.4 ppm at better settings on glossy paper. A full-size photo printed on the Mac took a hair under 2 minutes to emerge.
Print, scan, and copy samples from the Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN varied from pleasing to disappointing. Not surprisingly, text output was flawless. Photo output was better than we've seen from most colour laser and LED printers, with realistic (though slightly light) colouring, and mild background graininess and banding. Colour copies were also good. Monochrome scans were very crisp. Colour scans, however, tended to be murky and fuzzy-looking.
High toner costs are the most disappointing aspect of the WorkCentre 6505; in fact, they resemble inkjet prices more than laser prices. The printer ships with 1000-page cartridges for all four colours.
The 3000-page replacement black cartridge costs £93, which works out to a pricey 3.1p per page. Colour cartridges come in two sizes: 1000-page models for £61 (6.1p per colour per page), and 2500-page models for £102 apiece (4p per colour). A four-colour page would cost between 16p and 24p. It appears you're stuck with these prices, too: We couldn't find significant discounts when shopping online.