Konica Minolta bizhub 501

A worthwhile choice for the medium-sized office.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Konica Minolta bizhub 501
  • Konica Minolta bizhub 501
  • Konica Minolta bizhub 501
  • Konica Minolta bizhub 501
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Fast print speeds, USB direct print, User Box features, adjustable control panel

Cons

  • Mono scanning, low resolution printing, Web interface slightly complicated for average users

Bottom Line

Konica Minolta’s bizhub 501 provides adequate functionality for the medium-sized office with fast print speeds and decent remote administration capability. This multifunction is let down by mono scanning, however.

Would you buy this?

Konica Minolta’s bizhub 501 is a medium-volume mono laser workgroup multifunction built for medium-sized offices. Though medium seems to be the key word here, the bizhub 501 still manages fairly fast print speeds and adequate quality for documents, making it a very reasonable choice for offices. For worthwhile functionality, though, expect to shell out a bit more cash for the optional accessories.

The bizhub 501 largely takes the same design approach (or lack thereof) as most workgroup multifunctions, with a standard boxy shape, large A3-capable paper trays, and a gap between the paper input trays and automatic document feeder used as the printer’s output space. Konica Minolta has taken some design liberties, with an easily accessible toner bottle in the unit’s front panel to make replacing consumables much faster. The bizhub 501 also has an adjustable control panel — as opposed to the more common fixed panels — which houses a large 8.5in touch-screen colour LCD and the machine’s primary controls. This design adds some depth to the machine, but it does allow for a larger LCD which makes the machine easier to use on a day-to-day basis.

Considering our disappointment with the Web interface found on Konica Minolta’s bizhub c200, we were surprised to find that the bizhub 501 featured an extremely comprehensive Web-based administrative control panel. Users and administrators can easily assess the multifunction’s status and directly print from the interface.

The most noticeable feature of the 501’s Web interface is the User Box, a function that’s made available only if the optional hard drive is installed. These user boxes, which can be created and altered by administrators and users alike, facilitate a one-touch scanning setup that allows images to be saved onto the drive for later downloading through the Web interface. There are some possible improvements — the interface is somewhat complicated for everyday users and unlike Fuji Xerox’s Phaser 8560MFP, it doesn’t provide thumbnail previews of each scanned document on the interface (though they can be viewed from the 501’s control panel). Nevertheless, the User Box feature is a useful addition and one that goes far and beyond the direct transmission model featured on the c200.

Interestingly, the bizhub 501 also features a USB port, adding another direct print option as well as another method of saving scans. The idea is simple but effective.

The key differentiating factor between bizhub 501 and the bizhub 421 is durability — the 501 can sustain a monthly duty cycle of 175,000 as opposed to the 421's 150,000 — and print speed, which is where the 501 really makes a mark. Konica Minolta rates the machine at 50 pages per minute but in our tests we found printing speeds closer to 54ppm with 10.6 seconds until the first page came out, a surprising result that was consistent under all quality settings.

At a hardware level, the bizhub 501 possess a fairly standard 600x600 dots per inch print resolution. Although this doesn’t match the specialised printing resolutions of HP’s LaserJet P4015n, it's more than suitable for your average office document. The results are adequate at all quality levels ranging from the multifunction’s Toner Saver mode, to full 600dpi with the unit’s “Smoothing” capability turned on. Text characters are well-formed and accurate, though a little bolder than higher-resolution prints.

The biggest disappointment of the bizhub 501 is its scanner. Though we understand the market need for mono printing in the office, Konica Minolta has seen fit to restrict the bizhub 501’s scanning to black and white as well. There’s no real reason as to why this has been done — the machine even has a specific Photo option in its scanning configuration — and it means that it can’t be used to scan anything beyond documents and basic mono imagery.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

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!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?