Kyocera Mita FS-1030MFP review
Kyocera Mita's FS-1030MFP is a mono laser multifunction peripheral (MFP), aimed at home and small business users. It's a fairly compact device with a rapid 30 pages per minute (ppm) print speed and a network port, but at this price it's not particularly well specified. There's no wireless network connection, and the version we reviewed does without an automatic document feeder (ADF) or fax modem. An ADF is fitted to the FS-1030MFP/DP, which costs about £50 more, while those needing to fax will need to spend around £480 on the FS-1130MFP.
While it may not be the cheapest MFP to buy, the FS-1030MFP is cheap to run. Like other Kyocera Mita printers, this MFP uses a ceramic photoconductor drum that's guaranteed to last for a greater number of pages than the printer is ever likely to print – in this case 100,000. As a result, only the toner needs replacing in normal use. The printer ships with a useful 3,600-page starter unit, while the 7,200-page replacements work out at 0.83p per page. It's hard to print more cheaply than this.
Despite its low running costs, it's hard to love the FS-1030MFP. While it's quite a smart machine, we weren't impressed by the build quality of our early sample: the scanner's lid felt very flimsy, while many other panels felt thin and flexible. The left-hand side panel seemed slightly out of place, leaving a slightly awkward gap between it and the front toner access panel. Fortunately it was easier to load toner than in some other Kyocera Mita printers we've reviewed. We also liked the solid feel of the fold-down multipurpose tray, and the fully enclosed main cassette – a must for keeping the paper stack dust-free.
The FS-1030MFP is a disappointment in use. It's not noisy, but something about the nature of its sound quickly becomes wearing if you're sat near to it. It's a good text printer, delivering crisp characters at a solid 26ppm in our test, but the quality of its graphics prints was quite poor. Dark shades merged together, resulting in a loss of detail, while dark grey tones in particular suffered from highly visible banding. Our PowerPoint slides printed with both horizontal and vertical banding, something we've not seen before.
This MFP produces acceptable photocopies, and its scanner is very good for an office device – we were particularly impressed by its ability to capture detail from the very darkest and lightest parts of our test patterns; something that typically trips up office devices. It's a shame, then, that the supplied TWAIN scan interface doesn't support scanning over the network, and only lets the user select 200, 300, 400 or 600dpi scan resolutions. There's also no auto-marquee selection, and while there is a checkbox for automatic exposure it was greyed out in our tests.
Unfortunately, low running costs aren't enough to lift this MFP above the competition. If they're important, we'd suggest you spend less and buy an inkjet from Epson's excellent WorkForce Pro range, such as the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4535 DWF.
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