The most expensive model in Kyocera’s new range of business lasers printers, the Kyocera FS-4300DN is a strong out-of-the-box option that can be expanded to meet the needs of even the most demanding of workloads.
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The main Kyocera FS-4300DN unit comes with a deep and substantial 500-sheet input tray as standard. An additional 100-sheet multipurpose tray folds out, lending the printer versatility when it comes to media, even if it isn’t as well constructed as the rest of the printer.
With options, you can considerably bolster the Kyocera Ecosys FS-4300DN’s paper handling. One route is to acquire up to four additional 500-sheet paper trays (at around £205 each), resulting in a maximum input of 2600 sheets.
There only a few printers that beat this amount – the Dell 5330DN supports up to 3200 sheets, for instance – but this is still an impressive figure.
The Kyocera FS-4300DN is well built but without being excessively weighty – its 14.6kg bulk is relatively modest for such a printer.
The Kyocera FS-4300DN still manages to be quite pleasing visually, with a nicely curved front corner that leads up to the circular control panel. The latter is more comprehensive than on many printers, and includes alphanumeric keys. These are designed to be used during the Private Print function, which allows users to protect confidential files with passwords.
You can plug in USB drives and select files from there, although you don’t have a colour display to guide you to the right file. SD cards aren’t supported as standard, although a reader is available to buy.
For the truly security conscious, other options allow you to add a 32GB SSD and, with the addition of the Data Security Kit, keep the drive constantly clean of fragments of data.
USB 2.0 and gigabit ethernet are included as standard. While most offices still use wired networking, you can add Wi-Fi as an option.
The printer comes with Kyocera’s own controller language, Prescribe IIe, but can also emulate PCL6 and PostScript 3, amongst others. Add to this a 500MHz PowerPC CPU and a healthy 256MB of memory as standard – upgradeable to a maximum of 1280MB – and this is a printer that should make fast and accurate work of printing documents.
Kyocera FS-4300DN: Performance
In fact, Kyocera promises 60 pages per minute. We didn’t see it get anywhere near this over smaller print jobs; with our usual 10-page text document, we managed just 41.2ppm.
In fairness, a lot of this is down to the printer taking around six seconds to start putting out the first page. Once past this point, it does turn out sheets with great speed.
A 20-page text document brought up the speed to 45.4ppm. We don’t think you’d manage more than 50ppm, even with a large print job, but it’s certainly a very fast printer.
Even in the highest quality 1200dpi mode, text isn’t as dark as on some lasers, although the characters are very nicely defined. Much lighter output is produced in Draft mode, although this doesn’t result in an increase in print speed.
We probably wouldn’t recommend the Kyocera if lots of in-depth graphical work is required, although you wouldn’t usually employ a mono laser for those purposes anyway. As a text churner, it’s very much up to the job, and we haven’t yet come across a faster model.
Running costs are exceptional – exceptionally low, that is.
Kyocera’s drums are extremely durable, so the only regular replacement is likely to be the toner cartridge. These are expensive at around £100 ex VAT, but are specified for up to 25,000 pages a time. That brings costs down to a stunning 0.4p for a page of mono text.
This is astonishingly economical, and means that the Kyocera will quickly start to repay its significant initial asking price.
It’s quite low on power consumption too, although it’s not a quiet model. In printing, it exceeds a noise level of 56dB, making it one of the loudest printers we’ve tested.