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Fuji Xerox Docuprint CP205

Fuji Xerox Docuprint CP205

The DocuPrint CP205 is the latest LED printer from Fuji Xerox, making use of the company’s ‘SLED’ technology.

What does SLED mean? Essentially you’re looking at a laser printer, with the laser and rotating mirror assembly replaced by a solid-state array of LEDs. That means less moving parts, with multiple pixels scanned onto the printer’s drum at once, and therefore – in theory – a long-life printer with higher print speeds.

The CP205 is solidly built, but does subscribe to Fuji Xerox’s usual visual styling of “featureless monolith”. The only complaint I had design-wise was the paper tray that extends out the front, rather than being a wholly internal draw as seen on most lasers.

It does little to protect your clean paper from dust, spillage or sunlight – then again, those are all things you should be protecting your entire printer from, too.

Connection to your PC is via USB 2.0 or 10/100 Ethernet. There’s no direct printing from memory cards or flash drives. Setup is easy, as long as you have the installation CD.

I had a test page out within a couple of minutes of inserting the disc, without having to restart the PC – that’s a little better than my usual printer setup experience.

The on-printer interface is simple, with a few buttons and a little two-line LCD which I never had to refer to.

The CP205 offers a lovely 1200 x 2400dpi print resolution. This produces spectacularly crisp text which comes out in rich, glossy black. It’s notably darker than the result gleaned from most laser printers, and certainly beats the often-smudgy text produced by inkjet printing.

Images are impressive for a toner-based printer. The level of detail easily matches that of the Epson Workforce 633 and Artisan 725 which topped performance in a recent roundup (March PC World) in that field. However, the CP205 can’t compare to a midrange inkjet printer in terms of colour depth and accuracy. It’s certainly far better than most lasers we’ve seen, though – image quality is more than good enough to frame and pop on the wall.

There’s a hint of banding (vertical stripes) in large photographs, but only among our test images that we already know are most prone to it. Roller-marks are visible at oblique viewing angles, but aren’t nearly as bad as those seen from the Lexmark Genesis S800 – itself a photo printer.

The lack of wi-fi is disappointing – you’ll need to move up to the CP205W to get this. Comparably priced laser printers generally include wi-fi. The same applies to most cheap inkjets these days… so why not the DocuPrint?

Print speed is reasonable – Fuji Xerox advertises 12 ppm (pages per minute) in colour, and 15 ppm in monochrome. Printing 50-page segments of recent PC World magazines, I achieved slightly lower top speeds of 11 and 13 ppm respectively.

The four toner cartridges are rated for high yield, at 2000 pages for the black toner ($89) and 1400 pages each for cyan, magenta and yellow ($99 each). This gives print costs of around 4.5 cents per monochrome page and 25.7 cents per colour page. Note that these figures are obviously calculated based on office-oriented printing: text, graphs, diagrams and the odd inset photo or logo. Printing full-colour photographs, I dropped the cyan and yellow cartridges from full to around 30 percent remaining after approximately a hundred pages.

Altogether, the DocuPrint CP205 makes a great small-office printer. It would be equally suitable for home use, but the price really drives it up out of that range. The only exception to this is if you’re considering purchasing both a laser or LED printer for text, and an entry-level inkjet for photo printing.

In that case, the DocuPrint could save you doubling up on cost, print supplies and desk space.


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