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Xerox VersaLink C505 review

Targeting workgroups of up to 15 users, Xerox' VersaLink C505 colour MFP aims to streamline their life with full support for its ConnectKey technology. Designed to make print, copy and scan features more accessible and easier to use, all ConnectKey-enabled devices present precisely the same control panel interface.

It is, indeed, very easy to use as the big 7in colour touchscreen presents a selection of chunky icons for one-tap access to each ConnectKey app. The C505 comes preloaded with ones for printer settings, job status and printing from USB devices plus cloud apps for Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive.

More can be easily installed via the App Gallery where we logged in with our free cloud account, browsed the store and loaded them with two taps. We also accessed our account via a web browser where the portal spotted our C505 on the LAN and allowed us to install apps remotely over the network.

The C505 comes with 4GB of RAM so there's a space for every Xerox app. The Scan To app sends documents to predefined SMB network shares or FTP servers, the Scan to Desktop app uses WSD (web services to devices) to scan documents directly to a PC while the Copy app makes light work of, well, document copying.

There are apps for integration with Office365 and document workflow solutions such as CapturePoint plus one that extends print and scan functions to Cisco SPARK meeting rooms. Prices for the BillBoard app start at around £19 per printer/year and this lets you display custom messages and announcements on the C505's operator panel.

We emailed document attachments directly to the printer via the free @PrintByXerox app which is more secure than HP's Connected service. Our first email to the 'print@printbyxerox.com' address created a new password protected account ID which allowed us to login to the operator panel to view and print documents sent to the associated email address.

General security is tight as you can set guest access permissions or force users to login to the operator panel where they can access only those apps you've permitted with custom roles. Local and LDAP user authentication is supported, the printer driver offers features such as print and hold and PIN secured prints, plus you can set a time limit after which held jobs are deleted.

The C505 delivered the quoted speeds with our 43-page Word document dispatched in 60 seconds at both standard 600dpi and enhanced 1200 x 2400dpi resolutions. Our challenging 24-page DTP colour document posed few problems with it delivered at 43ppm at 600dpi and 40ppm in enhanced mode.

The C505 is a mean duplexer as our 43-page test document was printed on both sides at a speedy 41ppm. It's no slouch for copying either with 10-page single-sided and duplex-to-duplex copies returning 35ppm and 16ppm.

Running costs are a little high for this market sector and we recommend avoiding the standard cartridges as they're expensive to use. The extra-high yield cartridges are the best value as these deliver mono and colour pages at a more palatable 1.7p and 7.5p.

Print quality is excellent with pin-sharp text, highly detailed mono photos and eye-catching colour reports. Our colour test chart did reveal a minor issue with grey shades using equal mixes of C, Y and M toner which showed a slight magenta blush but you can use the driver's 'Xerox Black and White' setting to overcome this.

The C505 produces punchy colour graphics and photos with plenty of detail and great colour balance. The driver's photo setting produced the best results and for even more visual impact, try the 'Vivid RGB' setting.

Xerox' ConnectKey will appeal to administrators and support staff alike as all VersaLink printers and MFPs present exactly the same user interface. Combining this ease of use with top output quality and speed makes the VersaLink C505 a top choice for SMBs that want a highly flexible multifunction printing station.

Specifications 

600dpi A4 colour LED MFP
600dpi duplex colour scanner
1.05GHz dual-core CPU
4GB RAM
43ppm A4 mono/colour
7in. colour touchscreen
USB 3
Gigabit
AirPrint
NFC (Android only)
33.6Kbps fax/modem
Duplex
550-sheet paper tray
100-sheet ADF
150-sheet bypass tray
rec. monthly duty cycle, 8,000 pages
470 x 503 x 644mm (WDH)
35kg
Lifetime on-site warranty (with yearly toner purchase).
Options: 11n wireless, £47
Productivity kit, £181 (all ex VAT)

RUNNING COSTS

Extra High Toner: K (12.1K pages), £118;
C, Y, M (9K pages), £176 each;
K, C, Y, M drum cartridges (40K pages), £60 each;
waste cartridge (30K pages), £25 (all ex VAT).
Overall cost per A4 page: mono, 1.7p; colour, 7.5p

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