Xerox WorkCentre C2424
Fuji Xerox designed the WorkCentre C2424 as a multifunction printer that could handle the heavy work flow of a large office. It's very expensive, but for the money you get more features, more flexibility and more network functionality than most competing colour laser MFPs offer.
- 1675 maximum sheets, excellent Web-based network software, colour laser
- Expensive, low print quality
The WorkCentre C2424 is a full-featured colour laser multifunction printer that can handle the traffic of a big office, but it produces mediocre output.
Price$ 4,275.00 (AUD)
Installing the WorkCentre on a server-based network was quick and straightforward. First I hooked the C2424 to an Ethernet hub and installed the software and drivers on a server running Windows Server 2003. After setting up the IP address, I could access the network management Web page, from which I could reach the drivers and easily install them on a client running Windows XP.
Xerox includes excellent Web-based network management tools on its server, including an alphabetised index and links to all of the functions. Its Web pages provide information about the paper trays, the output tray, page count, supplies status and routine maintenance. You can also retrieve detailed records of various jobs, print a configuration page, set up scan configuration and save user profiles. The unit's general system management exists in public folders, but you can configure the Web pages as either public or private folders, setting up passwords and assigning administrative tasks to a folder accessible to authorised users only. You can also do troubleshooting, retrieve diagnostic logs, and view a comprehensive guide offering tips on how to boost print quality and resolve printing issues.
The C2424's biggest weakness is its print quality. This model uses a solid-ink system instead of toner, and it produced somewhat grainy and muted prints during testing. In particular, the C2424 produced thick text with slightly jagged edges, and narrow parallel lines were a mess of overlapping light and dark sections. The test greyscale image had fairly good contrast, but it was so grainy that its otherwise smooth transitions appeared choppy. Colour graphics looked muted and colours were off--for instance, the slightly orange skin tones made people look like they were suffering from heat exhaustion.
Its scanner was better than its printer. A scanned test image, when viewed on-screen, had bright colours and more-accurate details than the many of the competition could manage. When scanning from the console, you can choose whether to send your scan to the server or to the client. Once scanned, the image appears in the Xerox Scan Utility, and you can open it in a particular application or save it anywhere on the system.
You can copy from a button on the console; reduce or enlarge; lighten or darken; set the number of copies; and choose from such copy options as create booklet, copy from multiple pages onto a single page, and include blank separators. Unfortunately, the unit's copy output was no better than its print output. During our tests, the C2424 copied a page of text so lightly that thicker letters didn't print completely. It copied the page in 4.1 seconds.
The print driver provides an option for notifying you when your job is complete, settings for secure printing, and a troubleshooting section highlighted by PrintingScout, a tool that alerts you if any issues arise in your print job before you send it. The standard configuration has two paper trays with a total capacity of 625 sheets, and you can add two more paper trays, for a maximum of 1675 sheets.
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