Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N monochrome laser printer

This low-priced b&w laser printer has fast print speeds and reasonably low running costs

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Fuji Xerox Australia Phaser 3160N
  • Fuji Xerox Australia Phaser 3160N
  • Fuji Xerox Australia Phaser 3160N
  • Fuji Xerox Australia Phaser 3160N

Pros

  • Fast output, robust duty cycle, large paper input tray

Cons

  • No status screen, greyscale images can look grainy

Bottom Line

Fuji Xerox's Phaser 3160N is a laser printer that can pump pages out quickly, beating similarly priced competitors. It may not be particularly attractive but it handles monochrome document printing with ease.

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The Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N is a budget monochrome laser printer. It doesn't have any multifunction features like scanning or copying, but for its $199 price you get a printer that’s simple to operate and maintain. It prints text documents quickly and clearly, but it does have a couple of flaws: it lacks a status screen and its printing of greyscale images is mediocre.

The Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N is a very simple monochrome laser printer, with only two buttons (for power and printing) and two status LEDs. There’s no LCD screen as seen on the Dell 1133, for example, so you’ll need to track the printer’s status on a connected PC or laptop. The paper input tray can hold 250 sheets while the output tray can store 80 pages. Fuji Xerox quotes a maximum monthly duty cycle of 15,000 pages, which should be more than enough for the printing needs of a small business.

You can connect the Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N laser printer to your office’s computers through its USB port or via a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. Status monitoring software and printer drivers are available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, and a Web server is also built-in to the printer for remote monitoring and maintenance. We opted for a USB connection to our test PC, with driver installation taking only a few minutes.

Printing A4 text documents through the Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N is a quick process — our 20-page PDF test document took just under one minute to print at standard quality settings. This translates to an overall output of 24 pages per minute when printing longer documents, which is faster than other budget lasers like the Samsung ML-1660 and the HP Laserjet Pro m1212nf which only managed 14 and 18 pages per minute, respectively, in our tests. The Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N also impressed us with the speed of its first page output, taking just 8.1sec from the start of printing to produce the first sheet.

The standard print resolution of the Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N is 600x600dpi, although this can be bumped up to 1200x1200dpi for slightly higher output quality. Either of these settings is more than enough for text printing on a white background, with text down to 6pt being easily readable. Shaded backgrounds can appear grainy though, and printing monochrome images produces the same result — detail is generally lacking, with gradients often tending to appear grainy and with visible banding. This is a problem common to almost all consumer laser printers though, so the Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N is not alone.

The Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N uses a combination toner/drum cartridge which has a quoted page yield of 2500 pages. At a recommended retail price of $109.95, this translates into an ongoing running cost of 4.398c per A4 monochrome sheet — on par with Dell’s high-yield cartridge for the 1133. The Phaser 3160N’s cartridge is also very simple to remove and replace, which should make regular maintenance an easy task. The Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N isn’t too much of a power hog either, consuming only around 6.1 Watts when in standby mode.

Fuji Xerox is committed to environmental sustainability, and incorporates a range of energy-saving features into its printers — including the use of emulsion aggregation toner which uses less energy than regular toner to produce and print with.

If you’re looking for a desktop laser printer that offers good value for money and print speeds that beat the competition, Fuji Xerox’s Phaser 3160N is a good choice. It is simple to install, operate and maintain and prints A4 text documents at a low overall cost.

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