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Kyocera Ecosys FS-C2026MFP+ review

Kat Orphanides
31 Oct 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
433
inc VAT

If you need to keep your costs per page and total costs of ownership down, this laser MFP is ideal

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The Kyocera FS-C2026MFP+ is far bigger and heavier than you'd expect even a business MFP at this price to be. It's also louder and smellier than most low-cost lasers, putting it firmly in the workgroup category. You wouldn't want this thing sitting on your desk and it's not as capable when you connect it via USB as it is when you use a network connection.

In particular, Kyocera's TWAIN scanner driver is only designed to work over a network connection; there are some suggested workarounds to get the MFP's scanner functioning via USB, but we were unable to get any of them to work.

Kyocera Ecosys FS-C2026MFP+

A properly functioning scanner isn't the only point in favour of a network connection, though. You'll also be able to use the Kyocera Mobile Print iOS and Android app to send documents to it from a phone or tablet and use the MFP's web interface to configure its core settings instead of having to go through the menu options on its five-line mono LCD display. If you're used to friendly touchscreen interfaces, navigating the FS-C2026MFP+'s menus will feel like a bit of a chore. However, they’re packed with features, including the ability to scan directly to a USB disk, Windows share or FTP server.

Kyocera Ecosys FS-C2026MFP+

The scanner interface is one of the most limited we've ever encountered. Preview scans are only available if you select platen as your feed method. There are Basic, Imaging and Advanced tabs, but while many rivals' scanner interfaces give you different amounts of control over your scan settings, the options here are very limited. The only scan resolutions available are 200dpi, 300dpi, 400dpi and 600dpi. You can’t enter a custom resolution. The only options in the advanced tabs are prevent bleed-through, which seemed to be perpetually greyed out, and reverse image.

You can change the exposure and contrast settings, but that's about it. You can't even manually select a scan area from a preview, and there's no pre-set size for photos. Because of this, our quoted 600dpi photo scan time of 42s is actually for an A4 page, rather than a cropped 6x4in area. On the plus side, the duplex ADF is handy if you've got lots of double-sided documents to process or archive.

Kyocera Ecosys FS-C2026MFP+

You'll need to use the network port if you want to scan

IMAGE QUALITY

Image quality from the CCD scanner was very poor. At 100% magnification, our 600dpi photo scan had an oddly pixilated look, with poorly gradated shading and contrast that made some dark tones indistinguishable from one another. Natural colours fared better, and at least our images weren't dull, but if you want to scan photos for inclusion in a business presentation, you'd be better off using a higher-quality scanner. Even our 300dpi scan of an illustrated business document, which took 20s, suffered from blurry edges around 10pt fonts.

By contrast, the printing interface is particularly good, with clear tabs that make it easy to find all the different settings you'll need, from double-sided printing to quality settings. Our mono text document printed at 22.7ppm and our colour document at 15.2ppm, but we found that, including waking up from a deep sleep, both a single colour page and a single mono page emerged in 45s. The MFP has a comparatively high idle power consumption of 26W, but after just a couple of minutes switches to a light sleep mode which consumes 9W. Waking from this mode to print either a colour or mono document took 25s.

Although the FS-C2026MFP+'s prints lack the glossy finish of those of some rivals, such as the Xerox WorkCentre 6605DN, we were generally pleased with the quality of everything it produced. Challenging shaded areas on our illustrated business documents and even photos were reproduced with great detail and accurate colours. Our 12pt mono text document looked great, but 8pt serif and sans-serif fonts looked a little scratchy and broken in places.

Copy quality is very good, although small fonts on colour copies looked slightly blurry and we had to lighten our mono copies to improve contrast on a colour illustration. While most MFPs limit you to 99 copies, the FS-C2026MFP+ can manage 999, while its duplex ADF and print engine allow you to make double-sided copies.

RUNNING COSTS

The MFP comes with 3,500 pages-worth of black toner and 2,500 pages of cyan, magenta and yellow. Replacements cost £94 for a 7,000-page black cartridge and £107 for 5,000-page colour cartridges, which leads to a mixed-colour print cost of 7.7p, with a mono page coming in at 1.3p. No other consumables are required. The MFP has a two-year warranty and its generous supply of preinstalled toner means that light users won't need to buy any more consumables over the first couple of years. It's great value for heavy and medium users, too, with some of the cheapest costs we've ever seen for a laser MFP.

CONCLUSION

Despite slightly poor print quality on very small font sizes, this is an excellent laser MFP as long as you don't need to do any more than the most basic document scanning. The Xerox WorkCentre 6605DN has better print quality and a more up-to-date interface, but the cheaper FS-C2026MFP+ has some of the best long-term running costs we've seen from any MFP. It’s a Best Buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Maximum native print resolution9,600x600dpi
Max optical resolution600x600dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A426ppm
Quoted speed, colour A426ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.021s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.023s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet
Optional printer interfaces£260
Size580x514x550mm
Weight36.5kg
Noise (in normal use)50dB(A)
Duty cycle65,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight220gsm
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity300
Maximum paper inputs4
Maximum paper input capacity1,300
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes

General

Printer technologysingle-pass colour laser
Language(s)Prescribe IIc (Emulations: PCL 6, KPDL 3 PostScript 3 emulation)
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.2+, Linux
Maximum printer memory1.75GB
Other laser features and options£107

Buying Information

Price£433
Price per colour A4 page6.4p
Price of 2nd paper cassette£195
Warrantytwo years onsite (drum and developer 3 years or 200,000 pages)
Supplierhttp://www.printerbase.co.uk
Detailswww.kyoceradocumentsolutions.eu

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview7s
A4 document at 150dpiN/A
A4 document at 300dpi20s
6x4in photo at 600dpi42s
6x4in photo at 1200dpiN/A
Single 35mm negative at 2400dpiN/A

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.010s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.011s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.033s

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies999
Copier zoom range25-400%
Max mono copy resolution600x600dpi
Max colour copy resolution600x600dpi

Fax Features

Fax modem speedN/A
Max mono fax resolutionN/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages)N/A