Xerox is targeting home office users with its WorkCentre 6015V/NI, which uses LED colour technology for its print engine and also offers scanning, copying and faxing features.
Currently you can buy it online for around £290, which is fairly cheap by colour laser printer standards.
For a business model, the 6015 has a cute and stylish design. Rather than opting for the traditional business black, Xerox has instead finished it mostly in white with dark blue used for the area around the control panel and paper out-tray. It's a welcome change from the norm and helps this model stand out from the crowd.
However, apart from the colour scheme and rounded corners, the layout of this model is pretty traditional. The panel at the front folds down to reveal the slightly small 150 sheet paper tray with a pull out cover that also doubles as a 10 sheet paper feed for odd-sized sheets or envelopes. All output is fed into a tray that's formed from a cutaway in the top half of the printer's chassis.
On the right hand side there's a pull down panel that reveals the four toner cartridges that are very easy to slot into place. This model uses a permanent drum and fuser mechanism, which is designed to last for the lifetime of the machine.
All the controls are positing on a gently sloping panel at the front. There's a fairly large bitmapped, monochrome LCD screen, as well as dedicated buttons for switching between the various scanning, faxing and copying features. The panel also includes a numerical keyboard for dialling fax numbers.
Unfortunately the front-mounted USB port isn’t compatible with PictBridge cameras, but is instead designed to allow you to print PDF and graphics files directly from USB memory keys.
Easy peasy set-up
On the rear you'll find both Ethernet and USB ports and there's Wi-Fi built in too, so you've got a pretty broad range of options when it comes to connecting it to your computer or integrating it into your home office network.
When you pop the installation CD in your computer it starts up with an installation wizard that guides you through the whole process of setting up the printer using short instruction videos covering everything from removing the protective tapes, to the correct way to install the paper. With this level of hand-holding it's hard to see how you could go far wrong in terms of set-up.
Scanning and copying
The scanner lid at the top of this model is home to an automatic document feeder (ADF) that can work with up to 15 sheets at a time. This means you can scan or fax multi-page documents without having to manually feed them into the scanner yourself. Unfortunately the ADF doesn’t have duplex functionality, so you can’t use it to automatically fax or scan both sides of a page.
If you're a real photo enthusiast the scanner probably won’t match up to the quality that you need, but for scanning business documents it's more than good enough. It's not the fastest scanner around however, and this adversely affected its photocopying speed too -- it took 20 seconds to complete an admittedly very good copy of our black and white test sheet. Other laser models managed to complete this task in half that time.
Speed, quality and cost
When it comes to print speed, this model is certainly not the fastest around, although it's not all that bad by colour laser standards either. Our 10 page text document took 1 minute and 6 seconds to complete in both black and white and colour. It finished our 10 page colour business presentation in 1 minute and 51 seconds, and our 10 page graphics test took 1 minute and 46 seconds.
Print costs aren’t the cheapest we've seen -- that honour currently belongs to Kodak's models -- but they’re far from being the most expensive either. A black and white page works out at 3.2p, while a colour page costs 6.4p. Both of these prices include 0.7p for paper costs.
Colour laser models are generally a bit more expensive to run for both black and white and colour sheets and that proved to be the case here. There are only standard sized toner cartridges available for this model and using the cheapest prices we could find online, a black and white page worked out at 3.1p, while a colour page came in at 10.9p. Both of these prices including 0.7p for paper costs. This prices aren’t astronomical, but a business inkjet, such as the Epson WP-4535DWF is much cheaper to run with print costs of 1.9p and 4.6p respectively.
One area that we can't fault with the 6015 is its print quality. Black and white text looked superb, as it was dark on the page, yet faultlessly clean. Colour print outs also look top notch with strong, bold colours and clear printing, even when faced with large blocks of colour.
Overall, the 6015 is a very competent multifunction laser printer. Its speed could be a little bit faster and we wish it was a tad cheaper to run, but its excellent print quality does go some way towards making up for these two slight failings.