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Xerox B215 review: The running costs of this MFP are too high

Expert Reviews Staff
5 Dec 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
161

The Xerox B215 is a decent mono MFP, if you don’t mind its hefty running costs

Pros 
Good connectivity
Impressive speeds
Good print quality
Cons 
Narrow range of configuration options
Slightly faded print with black ink
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The B215 is part of Xerox’s new B200 series of mono devices for home offices and small businesses. This is the top MFP model of the bunch, distinguished by a sleek colour touchscreen and duplex printing capability. The cheaper B205 MFP has no screen and makes do with simplex (single-sided) prints, while the B210 single-function printer has duplex printing, but no scanner or display.

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Xerox B215 review: Features

The B215 has most of the features a small office could need. In its base there’s a 250-sheet paper input with a single-sheet manual feed slot. On top there’s a 40-sheet automatic document feeder for the scanner, although this can only scan one side of original documents; duplexing is only for printing. Connectivity is particularly good: you can use it with a PC via USB, wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi. As with the Epson EcoTank ET-M3180, there’s also a fax modem, although the B215 goes even further by including a front-panel USB port for direct printing or scanning.

This MFP’s uncluttered control panel and touchscreen lend it a touch of class, but the system isn’t quite perfect. While there are apps to manage the main features, you can’t install more as you can with some more expensive Xerox devices. There’s also a surprisingly narrow range of configuration options available, mostly limited to simple network and time-out settings. For the B215’s more advanced options you’ll need to delve into its web admin interface. That’s also the only place where you can disable the banner pages – designed to separate multiple jobs in a busy office – which print before each job. This is the only printer we’ve tested where they’re on by default.

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Xerox B215 Printer review: Performance

Banners banished, the B215 turned out to be a fast printer. Xerox claims a printing pace of up to 30ppm, and it reached 26.3ppm on our test, which includes job preparation. This took longer on our 24-page mixed graphics job, but the printer still reached a creditable 21.8ppm. Duplex speeds were impressive, the B215 printing 10 sides on to five pages in one minute. Print quality was generally very good, with just a couple of subtle artefacts in our test presentation slides and some mild banding. Text printed with the PostScript driver was consistently perfect, but on some documents printed with the default PCL driver it wasn’t fully black, making it appear jagged under magnification.

The B215 uses a simple scan interface that’s easy to operate. Scanning was quick, with A4 scans at either 150 or 300dpi, each completing in just 11 seconds. We encountered problems when attempting our higher-resolution scans of a photo, however, with the TWAIN interface crashing at 600 and 1,200dpi. We switched to the supplied Easy Document Creator software, which worked fine at 600dpi but doesn’t support the maximum 1,200dpi optical resolution. While a couple of scans seemed a touch overexposed, generally their quality was more than good enough for office work.

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Xerox B215 review: Verdict

Overall, the B215 is a fast MFP, producing decent results, but it’s let down by high running costs of 2.5p per page. While we’ve seen worse, the Epson EcoTank ET-M3180 inkjet prints a page for just 0.2p, while still having comparable office credentials. The B215 is a better MFP for low and medium-volume use, but if you’re likely to print more than 14,000 or so pages, the ET-M3180 will prove better value over time.