Epson Aculaser C1750N review
four-pass colour laser, 15ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 234x394x304mm
Epson’s Aculaser C1750N is a brilliant printer that proves colour laser printers don’t have to be big, complicated or expensive, but it is functionally basic. It has a mono LCD display so you can navigate its settings, USB and Ethernet ports so you can connect it to your PC or network, and little else. Sadly, its paper tray feels rather flimsy, and we initially found it difficult to adjust it to the right size for our A4 paper, which led to paper jams, but this ceased to be an issue once we’d worked out where to position it. The dust cover and sheet feed input also feel a little fragile.
The installation disc provides a step-by-step guide to connecting your printer, and the software automatically searches for and detects the C1750N on your network. It even gives you the option of manually setting the printer's IP address, but most users will be happy to keep the default DHCP setting.
The onboard control panel is very basic, having just a button to open the printer's monochrome two-line menu, some navigational keys and the obligatory Cancel and Back buttons. The menu options let you configure your network, print information and test sheets, and view printing statistics, but it's a bit fiddly to use because of its small screen size. Fortunately, all the menu options are replicated in the printer's clear HTML interface through which you can do everything, from viewing the printer's history of completed print jobs to limiting print privileges and checking the status of your consumables. You can also access cleaning cycles and configuration options via the Windows driver software.
The Aculaser C1750N is extremely low-maintenance in terms of its consumables. All you ever need to change are the toner cartridges. It comes with 700-page starter cartridges, and replacement cartirdges cost £53 each. The printer’s maximum monthly duty cycle is quoted as 20,000 pages, although this doesn’t reflect the number of prints you’ll be able to get out of it on a regular basis. Printers of this sort are designed for light personal use, and it’s economical to run that way, too. If you print 67 mono and 33 colour pages per month then the total cost of ownership over three years will come to just £325. A mono page costs just 2.6p, while a mixed black and colour page costs 13.8p.
The C1750N’s print quality is excellent. Printed text is everything you’d expect from a good quality laser printer, and even small fonts look sharp and dark. Colour photos and business documents are glossy and solidly coloured, although they have a very slight red emphasis and some areas of very dark shading lack contrast. Nonetheless, this is easily some of the best prints we’ve seen from a printer at this price. It isn’t fantastically fast, but its mono print speed of 10.9ppm and colour print speed of 9ppm is more than quick enough for high-quality personal prints.
Despite its Ethernet port, the C1750n isn’t built for high-yield workgroup printing, but considering its fairly quick speeds, low price and surprisingly low running costs, it’s the perfect compact colour laser for the small or home office, and it wins a well-deserved Budget Buy award.