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Kyocera Ecosys M2640idw review

Kyocera's Ecosys M2640idw is great for SMBs that want more from a mono MFP. As well as the expected functions, it supports Kyocera's HyPAS - "hybrid platform for advanced solutions" - which adds a host of onboard apps to the regular print, copy, scan and fax capabilities. It's an impressive technology that's usually reserved for Kyocera's TASKalfa enterprise printers.

You can't use it out of the box, mind. To enable HyPAS, you'll need to install an SD card of at least 4GB into the slot behind the printer's Gigabit Ethernet port. The base 512MB of memory needs upgrading too, with a 1GB module costing around £170.

With this done, you can dip into a wide range of apps; Kyocera offers a decent library of both free and paid-for downloads, and there are also many third-party developers offering custom paid apps. They're supplied as PKG files, which can be installed on the printer from a USB stick. You then simply launch and operate them from the M2640idw's 10.9cm colour touchscreen.

One useful app is Cloud Connect: the printer comes set up for Google Cloud Print, but the app adds the ability to send and receive documents from other services such as OneDrive, EverNote and Dropbox. There's also a Cloud Print app, costing a rather steep £100, which lets you print directly from Google Docs and Google Apps, and use secure single sign-on.

Kyocera's free MyPanel iOS app is another bonus: we used it to link an iPad to our EverNote, Dropbox and OneDrive accounts. We were able to browse cloud storage, select files, print them directly to the M2640idw and scan documents from the printer straight to cloud folders.

Along with initiating remote copies, you can also use MyPanel to send scanned images directly to email addresses. Some setup is needed here, however: SMTP must be enabled from the printer's Command Center RX web console, an authenticated SMTP mail server account provided and a sender address for the printer added.

So much for the bells and whistles. Happily, the the M2640idw doesn't disappoint as a straightforward MFP either. It turned out our 40-page Word document in just 59 seconds, regardless of whether we chose 600dpi or 1200dpi resolution. Our complex 24-page DTP test document was dispatched just as swiftly, while switching to duplexing mode dropped print speeds to a still-creditable 21ppm. In all tests, the time to first page was never more than 11 seconds and we found the printer was reasonably quiet.

Text quality is great. On 75gsm recycled paper, text looked clean and sharp right down to 4pts, while graphs and bar charts showed only minor banding. This printer isn't a great choice for mono photos though; detail in darker areas was good, but excessive banding marred the overall impact.

Copy speeds are good too. The scanner's supported by a 50-page ADF, and our 10-page document flowed through it at a fast 30ppm. From the intuitive (if perhaps overly sensitive) touch screen, we were also able to select duplex-to-duplex scan; this completed at 18ppm.

Running costs are low, with a 7,200-page toner cartridge costing £70, and thus returning a page for just under a penny. The drum and developer are designed to last the life of the printer, and Kyocera guarantees them for 100,000 pages or three years, whichever comes first.

Network operation is supported in both wired and wireless mode; you can set this up from the panel's quick start wizard, and both can be active simultaneously. For wireless operation, the printer can connect to an existing wireless AP as a client, or devices can connect to it directly via Wi-Fi Direct; we had no problem using it in this mode from our iPad. NFC isn't supported, however.

Network functions include sending scans to email addresses, FTP servers, SMB shares or fax numbers, and all these settings can be stored in the printer's 200-entry address book. Driver options include print and hold, so you can PIN-protected jobs, select them locally from the printer's Job Box and release them when you're ready.

The sheer range of features means this MFP can require a bit of setting up, but there's no denying that the M2640idw offers a lot for your money. It's best suited to small businesses working with text or graphics-based reports, and although Kyocera's HyPAS option involves some additional costs, it makes it supremely versatile.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 273

Specifications 

600dpi A4 mono laser MFP
600dpi duplex colour scanner
40ppm
800MHz Cortex-A9 CPU
512MB RAM (max 1.5GB)
2 x USB 2
Gigabit Ethernet
802.11n wireless (client only)
33.6Kbits/sec fax/modem
2 x RJ-11
Duplex
250-sheet cassette
100-sheet MPT
50-sheet ADF
Average monthly duty cycle: 2,000 pages
417 x 412 x 437mm WDH
19kg
2yr on-site warranty

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