I have been getting asked more and more to help customers find a high quality color MFP for about $1,000 and I hate to say it, but I don’t really think such a device exists. Some are “less bad” than others, and we have had some pretty good luck with the Xerox 6180MFP, but the cost per print is pretty high on these devices. So, if you need a color MFP in the desktop variety, I would say to go ahead and get the Phaser 6180MFP because it is the best one I can see right now… However, there are some things you need to know about the desktop color copier market, especially the laser variety.
Single Pass vs. Multi-pass
Single pass is preferred. Means the paper only has to go through the imaging units once. The multi-pass have to go through once for each color. This is why you will see multi-pass units run about 1/4 the speed in color as they do in black and white. 31/8 or 20/5 or 16/4 are all common BW/Color speeds for multi pass. 21/20 would be more of a single pass speed rating.
ADF — If you have 3 page jobs, make sure you get the ADF… otherwise you will have to put one sheet on the glass and then the next one, etc…
Fax included? — Most people assume the fax is included on all MFP’s… they’re not. When you see a “Starting at” price… that is usually the print/Copy/Scan version, not the fax version.
Cost per print — This gets more crucial as your volume of prints go up. The MFP’s in this class can range from about $.15 to $.40 per print… if you are doing 100 prints per month… that can get substantial.