The Xerox Phaser 8500N's greyscale-text speed of 12.07 pages per minute (ppm) is average for devices in its class and in line with that of the Oki C5200n, but it falls a dozen pages per minute behind the similarly priced Dell 5100cn. Even so, the 8500N's 11.05ppm colour-graphics speed was zippier than that of the HP Color LaserJet 3550. This Xerox lays all colours down at once, so it's faster than most colour lasers that apply each colour separately.
When it comes to print quality, the Xerox Phaser 8500N's solid-ink technology produces mixed results. Text prints in our tests looked fine from reading distance but fuzzy up close, much like the output from an inkjet printer. The 8500N's monochrome graphics looked mottled and grainy. Colour graphics were good overall, with accurate colours, but skin tones weren't well blended, and we could easily see the ink dots that made up the image. We don't recommend this printer if you plan to make lots of full-page colour prints. If that's what you need, try a high-end colour inkjet, such as the HP Business InkJet 2800, or a colour laser, such as the Dell 3100cn.
Edited by Elsa Wenzel
Additional editing by Nick Hide