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Review: Xerox Phaser 6130

At a Glance
  • Xerox Phaser 6130

    Macworld Rating

Xerox’s Phaser 6130 is a color laser printer designed for small workgroups or personal office use. At $449, the Phaser 6130 is a bargain, but in our testing, the Phaser 6130 was a subpar performer and color prints looked unappealing. In summary, for a less-than-average price, you get an average printer with the Phaser 6130.

Setting up the color laser is simple. Weighing 37 pounds and measuring about 15 inches deep, the Phaser 6130 is relatively small compared to many laser printers; you should be able to set up this device safely without assistance. Once you lock the toner cartridges in place, all you have to do is connect the printer via USB or Ethernet, power it up, and insert the included software CD to install the printer driver.

We tested the Phaser 6130’s speed over a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet connection, and the results weren’t impressive. It took 22 seconds to print a one-page Word document, 55 seconds to print a ten-page Word document, 2 minutes and 26 seconds to print a 22MB Photoshop image, and 1 minute to print a four-page PDF. Our top product in the color laser printer category took, respectively, 13 seconds, 29 seconds, 33 seconds, and 1 minute and 6 seconds to perform the same tests.

Xerox Phaser 6130
Xerox Phaser 6130

The Phaser 6130 was also an average performer in terms of quality. Our panel of experts gave the printer’s color-photo quality a Fair rating because colors appeared very faint and the overall image lacked detail compared to our control photo of a picnic. The Phaser 6130 scored a Good rating in our Graphics, Fine Lines, and Gradients tests: We saw visible banding in gradients, fine lines looked bent, and graphics lacked detail overall. The Phaser 6130 was impressive only in its ability to print very clean, legible grayscale text.

Timed Trials: Print

10-page Word test0:55
1-page Word test0:22
22MB Photoshop image2:26
4-page PDF1:00

Scale = Minutes: Seconds

Jury Tests: Print

Graphics: Fine Lines and GradientsGood
22MB Photoshop image qualityFair
Text QualityVery Good

Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor

How We Tested: We ran all tests with the printer connected via 10/100BaseTX Ethernet to a 2.66GHz Mac Pro with Mac OS X 10.5.2 installed and 1GB of RAM. We recorded the time it took the printer to print a one-page Word document and a ten-page Word document, as well as the time it took to print a 22MB Photoshop image and a four-page PDF. A panel of experts examined sample output of the printer to rate its print quality as either Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor in comparison to the output of past ink-jet printers we’ve tested—Macworld Lab testing by Brian Chen and Blair Frank

Specifications

Print Resolution 600 x 600 x 4 bits dpi
Connections10/100 Base-T Ethernet, USB 2.0
Paper Sizesup to 8.5x14
Cost to Replace Toner$312 ($75 for black; $79 each for cyan, magenta and yellow)
Weight (in pounds)37
Dimensions (height x depth x width in inches)15.3 x 15.51 x 15.75 in.
Paper Capacity251 sheets

Macworld’s buying advice

Though the Phaser 6130 is inexpensive, there are better options in the same price range. For $50 more, you can buy Brother’s HL-4070CDW ( ), a much faster, higher quality color laser printer that includes wireless networking and duplexing.

[Brian Chen is a Macworld associate editor.]

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Prints clean, legible text
    • Easy setup

    Cons

    • Color prints look faint and lack detail
    • Slow
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