Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN review
It's too big and heavy for many home users, but low costs and good results make this printer ideal for a busy small business
Review Date: 23 Mar 2012
Price when reviewed: £118
Reviewed By: Simon Handby
Updated after our March 2012 round-up of laser printers
We've already reviewed Konica Minolta's entry-level Magicolor 1600W, awarding it four stars in May 2009. For this test we decided to include the newer, more powerful Magicolor 3730DN, but it didn't make the best first impression. It's a huge, heavy printer where the print engine is arranged sideways in relation to the front panel. The paper tray and consumables are accessed through the front, but the manual feed slot is to the right, meaning you need to keep the desktop clear on two sides.
These days most manufacturers' install programs find their printers on the network and do the necessary configuration for you, but Konica Minolta's is a blast from the past. You need to use the printer's display to find its IP address. Then again, this isn't a printer aimed at home users.
Once set up, the Magicolor 3730DN began to impress us. It's not unduly loud when working, with no clunks or harsh fan noises, yet it managed to be quite quick when printing in black only, delivering pages of text at 20ppm. With a speed of only 9.8ppm on our mixed-colour document it's perhaps a little slow for this price, but it was quite swift to print our photo tests. At 74 seconds for 10 sides of colour graphics, its duplex speed is good, too.
The 3730DN's print quality is one of its strongest assets. Black text was excellent and our black and white test print was free of any colour tint and was rich in detail. Photo prints were very nearly as good as those from Xerox's Phaser 6500N, with just a slight yellow tint and slightly less detail in the lightest tones. Graphics were also very good, although the 3730DN struggled with the darkest shade progressions in our PowerPoint slides, introducing traces of mauve and black into a dark blue background.
Where this printer excels, though, is in its low running costs. If you stick to high-capacity toners, each colour print should cost just 8.6p, only slightly more than the Kyocera Mita FS-C5150DN, while mono pages should be a reasonable 2.1p. Those who print a little are likely to baulk at spending £521 on a full set of high-capacity supplies, but those who print considerably more will go on to reap the benefit.
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