Xerox Phaser 3125N, a phenomenal 20,000 pages per month duty cycle

Xerox Phaser 3125N, a phenomenal 20,000 pages per month duty cycle

The Xerox Phaser 3125N isn’t much to look at, with a design not unlike business lasers from the early nineties. Unlike its ancestors, however, it’s only a fraction of the size and significantly more powerful.

Features & Design:
Value for money:
> Product website
Price: $234
> Pricing info
specifications 400MHz Processor; 32MB Memory; 1200dpi; Parallel, USB 2.0, 10/100Mbps Ethernet; 250-sheet tray, bypass tray; 20,000 pages / month duty cycle; 1000 page toner included; Windows 98+, Mac OS 8.6+, Linux via CUPS 358 x 298 x 253 mm (WDH); 1yr RTB; 6.8kg

Despite appearances, the 3125N is fast. Over USB, a mere 15 seconds elapsed before the first page was delivered, and subsequent text pages followed at a very rapid 23ppm. Bumping the quality to high with economy mode turned off didn’t affect the speed for either low or high-quality documents. The breaks did come on a little when printing full A4 images, however, but at 8ppm it’s still quite acceptable.

The 3125N’s connectivity options are also quite comprehensive. As well as USB 2.0 and the legacy parallel port, the “N” model that we reviewed has 10/100 Ethernet support. Driver compatibility is excellent, supporting Windows, Mac and most Unix variants.

Quality, however, was the Achilles Heel. Depending on your needs, it might also be a show stopper. Black text in standard typefaces looked excellent, but any deviation was met with ghastly results. Despite the high 1200dpi resolution, greys and anti-aliased text appear very coarsely dithered. Images receive the same treatment, with a visible grain in lighter greys and banding in dark shades reminiscent of a cheap inkjet.

High-resolution photos were sub-par, even at full quality. Although presentable in a pinch, there was heavy banding, and the intensity of black was weaker than we would have liked.

Despite the very sparse toner coverage, running costs are toward the high end. The supplied toner is a low-capacity 1000 page unit, and the replacement 3000 page units cost around $140, which works out to be just shy of 5c per page.

The duty cycle is phenomenal, however. Most personal lasers can handle anywhere between 500 and 5000 pages in a month, but at a rated 20,000 pages per month — nearly seven whole toners — this printer will keep going where the others fail.

Compared to our currently A-listed printer — the Brother HL-5240 — the Phaser falls well short of the mark in nearly every respect. If you only need a printer to quickly handle invoicing or plain documents in large quantities such as in a small business, then these shortcomings can be overlooked. On the other hand, if you need to print graphics, web pages or anything where you want to impress, look elsewhere.


This Review appeared in the April, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

See more about:  xerox  |  phaser  |  3125n

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