capsule review

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2550EN

At a Glance
  • Konica Minolta magicolor 2550 Laser Printer (20 PPM, 9600x600 DPI, Color, 128MB, PC/Mac)

    PCWorld Rating

The $499 (as of March 7, 2007) Konica Minolta Magicolor 2550EN costs $100 more than the company's similar-looking 2530DL. Both color lasers have built-in networking but the 2550EN supports both PCL and PostScript protocols internally, whereas the 2530DL uses your PC's processor to render pages. The 2550EN lacks the 2530DL's PictBridge port, which was also present on its predecessor, the 2450.

In our performance tests, the 2550EN printed text pages slightly faster than the 2530DL, at 18.8 pages per minute, but that figure is nevertheless below the average for recently tested color lasers. At just 1.7 ppm for plain-paper color printing and 0.7 ppm for glossy photo printing, the 2550EN crawled in comparison to the 2530DL's 2.6 ppm and 2.0 ppm, respectively. The 2550EN's numbers are about half the average page-per-minute marks of color lasers we've tested recently.

The 2550EN's grayscale print looked very good overall, despite being a little light and having a dappled sky, but the printer's text and line art were below par: Text looked heavy and lacked sharpness, line art seemed dark and gritty, plain-paper photos were dithered and off-color, and glossy photos had inaccurate colors.

Like the 2530DL, the 2550EN has a two-line LCD at the heart of its control panel. The printer's single paper tray holds 200 sheets of paper, or you can feed it up to ten envelopes. Options include a 500-sheet paper drawer for $199 and a duplexer for $229. Or you can buy the 2550DN version of the printer with a duplexer pre-installed for just $200 more. Unlike the 2530DL, the 2550EN can accommodate an internal $349 hard disk for storing and printing PDF files and password-protected documents.

Using the same 4500-page high-capacity toner cartridges and imaging drum as the 2530DL, the 2550EN offers estimated costs of 2.2 cents per black-and-white page and 11 cents per color page--a good deal for such a compact printer. Unlike the 2530DL, the 2550EN arrives with high-capacity toner cartridges in the box, more than making up for its higher (by $100) price. Replacement cartridges cost $85 for black and $116 for each color (when you purchase a package containing all three colors). The $149 imaging drum must also be replaced every 45,000 black or 11,250 color pages.

Compared to Konica Minolta's other budget-priced color lasers, about the only thing the 2550EN has going for it is that it comes with $434 worth of toner cartridges. Compared to other color lasers, the compact 2550EN has limited paper capacity and prints color pages slowly, but offers reasonable page costs.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Considering its disappointing print quality and performance, there are better choices than the Magicolor 2550EN.

    Pros

    • Low per-page costs.
    • Small footprint.

    Cons

    • Low standard paper capacity.
    • Slow photo printing.
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