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Xerox VersaLink C400DN review: Unbeatable laser printing

Expert Reviews Staff
26 Jun 2019
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
293
inc VAT

The VersaLink C400DN is a brilliant colour laser, but it might be too complicated and clever for home users

Pros 
Fluid touchscreen
Fast printing times
Prints are super high quality
Cons 
Tricky to set up
Bit too big for most home offices
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Xerox’s VersaLink C400DN is at the top end of what any sane person would consider a home printer, being too big, too clever and possibly too expensive for most home offices. The C400DN sits on a 550-sheet paper tray supplemented with a 150-sheet multipurpose feed, and that printed pages collect in a 250-sheet output. Duplex is standard and the printer is rated at 35ppm in either black or colour. Gigabit Ethernet is also included, but wireless networking is a £50 upgrade.

Xerox VersaLink C400DN review: Features and specifications

Behind the headline specifications there’s a raft of security features, and Xerox’s typically comprehensive OS support, spanning Windows, macOS, Linux, Citrix and more. Control is via a huge touchscreen that juts out from the side of the printer, which could be a problem in a cramped workspace. Underneath it, a USB port supports walk-up printing of common image and document formats.

The touchscreen is essential to Xerox’s ConnectKey technology, which enables users to install a range of apps to add features to the printer. We had no problems with this on the C405DN, but here we received a file access error message when trying to add apps using Xerox App Gallery. After trying various settings including an automatic software update – which reported no updates were available – we manually downloaded and installed the latest firmware, which cured the problem.

There are 17 App Gallery apps available and eight are free. That said, Xerox charges $99 per year per device for apps that connect to popular cloud services including Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive – functionality that’s free on some home MFPs, including Canon’s TS9550.

The touchscreen is always fluid, with apps including Print from USB available even when the printer is already servicing a job. A PostScript 3 (PS 3) driver is used by default on PCs and you can also select PCL 6, but both installations failed if we chose to download the most recent versions from the internet.

Once installed, we had the same problem as when we reviewed the WorkCentre 6515DNI. We needed to visit the printer properties for each driver and specify that the duplex module was installed before double-sided printing became available. Not a straightforward printer to set up, then, but from this point onwards the C400DN didn’t put a foot wrong.

Xerox VersaLink C400DN review: Performance

It was quick to get going, with the first black page appearing in 14 seconds from standby, and the first colour page needing just a second longer. After half an hour sitting idle, there was an additional 12 seconds or so of warming up time for a total of around 26 seconds to first page out. The printer took just over a minute to print out our 25-page black text, but that includes job preparation time; it hit 32.6ppm if we timed from the moment printing actually started.

Complex colour graphics spooled out at an impressive 24ppm, or 32ppm ignoring preparation time, while the printer duplexed graphics at a similarly strong 13ppm. Repeated with the PCL 6 driver, each job took between one and four seconds longer.

READ NEXT: Brother DCP-L3550CDW review: A reliable printer outperformed by its siblings

Given the similarity to the C405DN, it’s no surprise that print quality from the C400DN is exemplary, but there are noticeable differences between PS 3 and PCL 6 output. PostScript text is perfect down to tiny 5pt sizes, PCL less so. PostScript graphics and photographs are faultless, but while their PCL equivalents included one very minor glitch, we preferred their brighter colour bias.

Using the PS 3 driver, our black-and-white test photo was stunning – comfortably the best we’ve seen from a laser. The C400DN arrives with enough toner for a reasonable 3,000 black or 2,000 colour pages, and you can buy extra-high capacity replacements rated for 10,500 black or 8,000 colour pages.

Xerox says that the 60,000-page drum, 30,000-page waste bottle and unrated fuser shouldn’t need replacing at normal use levels. Without them, running costs are comparatively low at 8.6p per page, of which the black component is just 1.3p. Including the maintenance items only nudges the total up to 9p.

Xerox VersaLink C400DN review: Verdict

The C400DN isn’t quite as effortless to set up as the C405DN, but once installed it’s equally unbeatable. It might be overkill for all but the busiest home office, but if you’ve got the space and money for a heavy duty colour laser, it’s a great choice.

Xerox VersaLink C400DN specifications
Max print resolution600x600dpi
Dimensions491x488x399mm (WDH)
Paper capacityTray (550), Multipurpose (150)
Price per print (mono, standard)1.4p
Weight26kg

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