So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Fuji Xerox Australia Workcentre 228
- Document feeder is a nice feature
- Poor quality scans, slow printing and photocopying
A multifunction device that has lots of features, unfortunately none of them are very good
Price$ 879.00 (AUD)
The Fuji Xerox Workcentre 228 is designed to be a low volume multifunction device for use in the office or at home and offers scanning, printing, photocopying and faxing with the addition of a handy document feeder. The problem is that like many of these devices, the 228 may be a jack of all trades but it is a master of none.
The 228 is a pretty ordinary looking machine. It's not too big, not too small and comes in the standard uninspiring off-white. This isn't going to matter in the office, but if you wanted to use it at home it would be nice to have a more aesthetically pleasing unit. Setting up the 228 is fairly easy, though it is worth bearing in mind that Fuji Xerox does not provide a USB cable. If you want to scan or print then you'll need to buy one separately. While installing the machine may be easy, actually using it is another matter entirely. The multitude of buttons on the front do not make selecting what you wish to do any easier and the device would benefit greatly from a touch screen panel instead of the small and rather useless monochrome LCD display. Using the 228's PC functions isn't much easier either, with each split into a separate program.
All these problems would perhaps be insignificant if the 228 had outstanding performance. As it is, the 228's performance is at best mediocre. Firstly, we looked at the 228's scanning capabilities. Our main feeling was that the 228 is just far too slow. A 300dpi colour scan would take well over a minute, hardly impressive. After all the effort the 228 goes through to get the scan we were hoping the quality would be good, but alas, the images looked downright awful. Colour was washed out and the image was indistinct and grainy. Black and white scans fared a little better, but still were no better than average. One nice feature is the 228's document feeder. This means that if you have a lot of scans to get through the 228 can process them by itself without the need for constantly swapping over the documents. The feeder can even scan both sides of the paper. We thought this would be an excellent feature to use in conjunction with the 228's OCR software. It would have been excellent if the unit had functioned correctly. Bizarrely, the OCR software informed us that the 228 was not compatible with some features, and when we tried to use the document feeder the 228 would start scanning from the colour flatbed, or just give up scanning half way through. Not really what we were hoping for.
The 228 fares better as a photocopier, with decent output quality and a speed of about 20 pages a minute. The document feeder also works better here; the 228 can handle about 8 pages a minute in photocopy mode. Printing is also decent, again with a maximum speed of 20 pages a minute, though the quality is not as good as were hoping for. The 228 can also link to an Ethernet connection, enabling automated emails directly from a scan. This seems like a fairly pointless feature, especially as it means you have to navigate the 228's clunky interface. If you can do without the Ethernet connection, the Fuji Xerox Workcentre 222 is an identical machine but without this capability. The reality is though, that neither machine is actually that good. Colour scans are atrocious, black and white only a little better. Photocopying and printing are fairly mediocre. If you really want a multifunction machine then we would recommend the Hewlett-Packard Officejet 7210.
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