To most creatives, print quality is everything. But every so often a product comes along that reminds you that usability is just as important – and unfortunately that’s where the Xerox Phaser 7800 falls down. See also Group test: what's the best printer?
On output quality alone, the Phaser 7800 would be an Editor’s Choice. With its 1,200 x 2,400dpi print engine, it produces A3 prints that are superbly detailed; both type and vectors are beautifully rendered.
Output was perfectly colour accurate when the printer was calibrated with the PhaserMeter – a rebadged X-Rite ColorMunki with Phaser-specific software. The PhaserMeter is bundled with the 7800/GX model we reviewed. You can buy the printer without it as the DX, and without the extra trays – that make it fridge-sized – as the DN.
All the features you’d expect are here: Pantone emulation, duplex, plus 2GB RAM and a 160GB hard drive to make printing take mere seconds. However, it felt like the wheels came off far too easily. Even with the latest driver and firmware, we encountered seemingly random bugs. For example, some print jobs would mysteriously fail due to paper mismatches, but then jobs with the identical paper size would work just fine.
Xerox has attempted to make the 7800 easy to use. Set-up is a doddle. The colour LCD screen offers detailed, though not always accurate, info about the state of your print jobs.
We’d still recommend the Phaser 7800 for its output, but Xerox needs to exorcise the mischievous ghost inside it before we give it a full thumbs-up.