"An Outstanding Printer at Twice the Price"5.0 starson by dog_or_man
Pros: Rugged, reliable, great print quality, affordable.
Cons: None that I am aware of.
Summary: Before replacing my HP 1012 laserjet, I spent quite a bit of time -- both here on CNET and elsewhere -- reading the user reviews of various budget-priced machines, mostly all-in-one ink jets and single-purpose ink-jets because of their low prices. What I discovered was that even those models that enjoyed decent editorial reviews were getting slammed by actual users. (If you meticulously wade through every step of CNET's printer buying guide, the printer that gets recommended more-or-less regardless of which buttons you toggled is a Canon that only gets about 2-1/2 stars from its eventual customers.)
Some folks are better at handling under-performance from their gadgets, and others lose their mind as soon as something goes wrong. I am in the second group. No way was I about to drop any amount of money, however small, on a printer that was being drubbed in the amateur review literature by dissatisfied customers. In due course my search led me to the field of color laser printers, NOT because I needed any such thing, but rather because they were the only machines that people were seeming to like. I just didn't want to have to shell out three or four or even five or six hundred bucks.
Enter the Konica Magicolor 1600W -- which costs significantly less than the prices quoted here, after a relatively un-subtle search on google shopping. (Are we allowed to name vendors or quote prices in these? Sometimes we are in a venue such as this one, and sometimes we aren't, but it suffices to say that you are in for a pleasant surprise vs. the price options listed at the top of this page.)
Out of the box the machine is rugged, sturdy, obviously well put-together. The pictorial instructions are a little excessive (must, not, throw, metal, transit, screws, in, the, garbage!) , but I'd rather that than the opposite, of course. The print quality is, if anything, better than my wildest expectations, and on pure black and white the speed is nothing short of breathtaking -- at least compared with what I'm used to.
One caveat: The folks who are reporting quirky performance would seem, after a little digging, to be having most of their troubles as a result of running non-laser-quality paper through this bad-boy, which strikes me as a bit pointless anyway. (In for a pound, and all that.) If you splurge on a ream of name-brand, high-visibility bright, laser-printer paper, it would appear that you will have no problems with quirky performance whatsoever.
I'll post a follow-up review after I've gotten better-acquainted with this guy, but the initial impressions simply could not be any more favorable. Buy with confidence: you won't be disappointed.