Xerox recently launched their entry-level desktop laser printer at a great price point. We give it a test run to see if its an excellent deal or just another entry-level, under-performing rip-off.
The Xerox Phaser 3117 is so small, it's adorable (in a geeky way). The printer is tiny at 354x297x210mm which results in a considerably smaller footprint than most inkjets.
Setting up the Phaser 3117 is extremely easy—pull out the two trays, plug in the power and the USB cables and you're good to go. Lack of a parallel port may not be good news for users with older computers (in small offices), and lack of network printing functionality means that this one was built keeping a home/SOHO environment in mind.
Build quality is pretty sturdy overall, though in all honesty, desktop printers don't have much scope of getting physically damaged anyways.
Considering that the scope of a desktop laser printer is pretty much limited, our tests mainly focussed on the speed and output quality.
The Phaser 3117 took around 8 seconds for a single page print which is pretty much the average speed in desktop models. In our 20 page speed test, the Phaser 3117 took a minute and nineteen seconds; once again average results.
The print quality was where the Phaser 3117 excelled. In our vector-based geometry test, all lines including the finest ones came a lot clearer than what we've seen from other laser printers. The font tests showed an even sharpness throughout all fonts and fonts up to size 2 were readable with a naked eye. Sections with large black spaces didn't show smudgings of toner powder, which is usually common in black and white laser printers.
A couple of gripes that I had with the printer is that though you should generally loosen all your papers before putting them in a laser printer, the Phaser 3117 did have a tendency to pick up multiple sheets at a time and end up in paper jams. Fixing paper jams, however, was quite simple in this model, but the point is that it shouldn't have so many of them in the first place.
Honestly, besides the paper jam issue, the Phaser 3117 performs great, especially considering its just a budget desktop model.
You can get the Xerox Phaser 3117 at an amazing street price of Rs. 4,500, which is a hell of a bargain and a good reason to replace your desktop inkjet if you're only using it for black and white document printing. Highly recommended to SOHOs and home users.
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