Konica Minolta bizhub 421
A capable multifunction for a more than reasonable asking price.
- Web interface, direct print from USB, comparatively inexpensive
- Mono scanning, relatively low resolution printing, Web interface could be easier to manage
There is little difference in functionality or capability between the bizhub 421 and 501, so the price difference clearly favours the bizhub 421. Unless every ounce of performance matters, the bizhub 421 is a more reasonable purchase.
Price$ 14,270.00 (AUD)
Konica Minolta’s bizhub 421 is a mid-range, lower-spec version of the bizhub 501, with a significantly lower price tag. There really isn’t much need to go for the more expensive model, unless the extra 10 pages a minute are of paramount importance.
The base model configuration of the bizhub 421 provides fairly standard functionality. Automatic duplex is included, and the unit has Ethernet, USB and RS-232 connections. It also has a Web interface for remote administration and a secondary USB port on the front of the unit to allow direct printing from a memory stick.
Most other functionality comes at a premium, though, with a finishing unit, extended paper input, internal hard drive and fax functionality all optional accessories that the salesperson will inevitably attempt to sell you. To take full advantage of the device the optional hard drive is a must-have; it enables the unit’s User Box system to be used, which allows document storage for printing and scanning.
Although the Web interface may require a slightly steep learning curve for the average office user, administration and monitoring is easy thanks to a comprehensive set of options. For the average user, the User Box is undoubtedly the most valuable feature, with one-touch scanning allowing users to easily scan documents to the optional hard drive. The only problem we had in this regard was with saving the documents; the interface requires a comparatively lengthy seven-step process in order to download the desired document, something which could have been made simpler.
The key difference between the bizhub 421 and the bizhub 501 essentially comes down to speed. Although the hardware in both multifunctions is essential identical, the bizhub 421 has slightly slower print times as well as an inferior monthly cycle volume. The bizhub 421 will print at an average of 42 pages per minute — though while testing the unit we managed 43ppm — at all quality levels, with the first page out in 11.4sec. Compared to the 501’s 54ppm capability, this difference in performance is largely negligible, making the saving of $4500 between models worth the slight compromise in performance.
Print quality is adequate though not outstanding. The bizhub 421 is limited to a maximum print resolution of 600x600 dots per inch, making it suitable for the average office document but a little too rough for mono presentation documents and the text perfectionist. Still, text is clean and accurate, though it’s slightly bolder than some high-end desktop laser printers due to the difference in resolution and text density.
Unfortunately, the bizhub 421 shares the same key fault as the bizhub 501 — mono scanning. Colour scanning mechanisms are almost ubiquitous in scanners and multifunctions of all sizes, and the seemingly conscious omission here compromises the unit’s functionality. Scanning is still done well — at a maximum resolution of 600dpi text is clear and sharp.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
- HP shutting down default FTP, Telnet access to network printers
- Why won’t my printer connect to my wireless router?
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- TPEngineer Desktop DevelopmentVIC
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- FTIT Security Team LeadNSW
- FTWeb User Interface Developer. Work Location - CanberraNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperVIC
- FTService Desk Consultant - Entry Level / GraduateNSW
- FTFinancial AnalystNSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectWA
- FTResponsive Design Developer, Frontend, PHP, WordpressNSW
- FTSCOM AdministratorACT
- CCTest Manager with PV Security ClearanceACT
- TPTeam Leader Project And Quality AssuranceVIC
- TPTechnical Analyst - 6 Month Contract - Great Rates Of PayNSW
- CCInfosphere ConsultantACT
- CCDigital Business Analyst AgileQLD
- FTSalesforce Senior Developer | Solution DesignerQLD
- FTSoftware Development ManagerACT
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT
- TPSAP BA - Source to PayQLD
- CCSenior Technology SpecialistVIC
- FTProject Manager - Finance BackgroundQLD
- FTSQL Server DBA- 2016 RDBMS, SSIS, SRS, Certified DBANSW
- CCDevOps Engineer - TelcoVIC