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Xerox VersaLink B600DN review

Xerox' VersaLink B600DN brings together everything an SME could ask for from a mono A4 printer – including a fast 55ppm print speed, a true 1,200dpi resolution and inkjet-trouncing running costs. Thanks to Xerox's ConnectKey technology, it's impressively versatile too.

A wealth of connection options ensure that the B600DN will fit into your workflow. USB 3 and Gigabit Ethernet ports come built in, as does NFC; simultaneous 802.11n wireless services can be added for £47 via a dongle that snaps in at the back.

The printer is a cinch to install, with a graphical wizard that opens up on the 5in colour touchscreen to introduce the four core ConnectKey apps. These provide access to printer settings, job status and USB options, while the App Gallery allows you to download apps from the Xerox store to extend the printer's capabilities (you can also browse and install apps via your desktop web browser). We quickly had the free cloud printing apps for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box installed, and the printer's 2GB of onboard RAM allows plenty of room for more.

Of course, you probably don't want employees installing their own apps, so access can be restricted on a per-user basis. For data security, the driver also offers print-and-hold and PIN-secured print features, and the optional encrypted hard disk has an immediate overwrite feature, which wipes confidential documents as soon as they've been printed.

When it comes to the business of printing, the B600DN certainly delivers. Our 55-page test Word document was dispatched in just 59 seconds at both 600dpi and 1,200dpi resolutions, exactly as claimed. Speeds fell only very slightly with our challenging 24-page DTP-style document, which was hustled into the printer's 500-sheet output tray at 55ppm at both resolutions.

Perhaps even more impressive were double-sided printing speeds. On some printers, switching to duplex mode can halve print speeds, but the B600DN turned out double-sided documents at an impressive 48.5ppm. The time to first page in all of our tests was also remarkably speedy, at between 6-8 seconds.

Xerox 1.PNG – Xerox offers plenty of apps for the B600DN plus good remote management and print security

Quality isn't compromised either. Our test page came out with pin-sharp text across a wide range of font sizes, with no hint of dusting. Graphs and charts were well defined too, and although mono photos did exhibit a slight banding in backgrounds, the printer still reproduced very high levels of detail.

A 550-sheet lower tray and a 150-sheet bypass tray at the front mean you won't be continually reloading the B600DN, and you can add four extra 550-sheet trays below, or combine one with a high-capacity 2,000-sheet feeder.

Perhaps the best news is the price. A full 10,300-page standard toner cartridge is included, and when this is exhausted you can replace it with an extra-high-yield 46,700-page supply for ultra-low running costs of just 0.75p per page.

You may also choose to invest in the Xerox Workplace Cloud portal, which provides secure remote printing services at a cost of £357 for 3,600 job credits. This requires an agent loaded on one PC on your LAN; we were able to use this to provision remote printing for desktops and mobiles, enforce strict access controls and use the iOS PrintPortal app on our iPad to remotely print files.

You'll gather that we're big fans of the VersaLink B600DN, but we do have two small criticisms. First, it's quite noisy: we measured sound levels of 65dB from 1m in front while printing, so you won't want it near your desk. The front toner access door could be better designed too: even the slightest hand pressure can cause it to pop open, potentially causing a paper jam.

Despite those foibles, the VersaLink B600DN is overall a superb printer for busy workgroups. It's fast and expandable, print quality is very good, running costs are among the lowest in this market sector and the ConnectKey app store makes it supremely versatile too.

Specifications

1200 x1200dpi A4 mono LED | 55ppm | 1.05GHz dual-core ARM CPU | 2GB RAM | 5in colour touchscreen | Gigabit Ethernet | NFC | USB 3 | Duplex | 550-sheet paper tray 150-sheet bypass tray | Rec. monthly duty cycle, 20K pages | 427 x 466 x 443mm (WDH) | 22.3kg | 1 year on-site warranty

Options

11n wireless, £47; 550-sheet lower cassette, £262 (all ex VAT)

Running costs

Extra High K toner (46.7K pages), £312; K drum cartridge (60K pages), £49; Overall cost per mono A4 page: 0.75p

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