More fax than printer, the Phaser 3200MFP/N doesn't live up to expectations.
The Phaser 3200MFP/N is an A4 laser multifunction device
with print, scan, copy and fax capabilities. 10/100 Ethernet and USB interfaces
are standard. The unit is a compact desktop model that could be easily accommodated
in most small offices, though dimensions of 43 x 39 x 39cm mean it wouldn't
comfortably fit on a desk at which somebody worked.
The paper tray holds 250 sheets, but in an office printer
like this we would rather have the conventional cassette arrangement. Concealed
above the main tray is a second feeder for letterhead, envelopes and so on, but
you need to reach inside the printer to adjust the guides for different sizes.
The output tray is conveniently placed at the front beneath the control panel,
which is not overloaded with buttons.
The scanner unit can be used by placing originals directly
onto the glass, or with the 30-page automatic feeder.
Setup instructions come in the form of an installation
poster and are clear enough, but we really wish manufacturers would include
printed manuals rather than PDF files for shared devices of this complexity,
especially when they are networked - more people are likely to want the manual
Physical installation was typically easy for this class of
device, but clearer labelling of the two phone sockets (one for the line, the
other for a handset) would be useful. The toner cartridge is behind the front
door, giving convenient access.
Setup was a different matter. Driver installation is
straightforward, though we were surprised that the installer didn't provide a
single button to select all the drivers (PCL, PostScript and fax) plus the
utilities for scanning and so on. A second CD contains Scan to PC Desktop SE
Personal Edition, which consists of the PaperPort document management program,
OmniPage OCR, and the Image Retriever utility to watch for the arrival of new
scans from the 32000MFP. Unfortunately, it clashed with the version of
PaperPort already installed on our test PC.
We ran into a problem in that telling the printer to use
DHCP didn't 'take' even though we could see that our router had allocated an
address to the 3200MFP. When we switched to manual addressing and entered the
IP address allocated by the router, things started working. (This occurred with
two samples of the 3200MFP, and while we accept the possibility that fault
could be with the router, it hasn't occurred before, even with other Fuji Xerox
Another issue is that the installer does not cater for the
network interface. Instead, the documentation describes a process for manually
changing the printer properties. It works, but we were left wondering why it
was necessary when the task is usually achieved by software - including the
Xerox fax software provided with the unit.
Things were easier when setting up the driver on Mac OS X as
the 3200MFP/N is Bonjour aware, though it was necessary to manually select the
Nominal print speed is 24ppm. We recorded 15 seconds
click-to-drop for the first A4 page, with the second emerging in another three
seconds, broadly consistent with the rated speed.
Text quality was good, with characters appearing smoothly
formed even under a magnifying glass. We were surprised by the similarity of
text printed at 600 and 1200dpi. Business graphics were a lot darker than we
have come to expect from mono printers, and consequently some of the detail was
lost. While you wouldn't expect this type of printer to do a good job with
photos, we were disappointed with the clearly visible banding. A solid black
page printed with a somewhat leathery appearance and slight but not
objectionable banding. It also had a low-gloss finish and appeared black rather
than the charcoal grey we have seen with some models. The margins varied
between 2 and 5mm.
A web interface gives remote access to the printer status
and settings and so on. It is much easier to alter settings this way than via
the two-line LCD and buttons on the front panel, though you may need to adjust
the printer's configuration to get it onto your network so the web interface
can be used
Security controls are limited to restricting access to the
web interface and other features to a particular group of users.
One area where the 3200MFD is superior to some other
multifunctions that we've tested (including some from Fuji Xerox and Oki) is in
the ease of scanning to a networked computer. As with models aimed at the SOHO
market (eg, from Canon), client software running on the computer means the
destination can be selected from a list shown on the LCD panel after pressing
the Scan button. This is much more convenient than messing with IP addresses,
shared folders or FTP servers. A PIN system reduces the risk of other users
scanning images to your computer.
The 3200MFD works much like a typical fax machine for
sending and receiving. Incoming faxes are buffered into the device's memory
before being printed, which is handy when the paper runs out. The Windows
driver for sending faxes worked without incident, but there's no fax support
for Mac OS X.
Text copied acceptably well, but copying or scanning photos
and graphics gave disappointing results in both colour (scan only) and mono.
Neither the scanner nor the printer has duplex capability. Various advanced
copying features are provided such as collated copying of multi-page documents,
and ID Card Copy which allows both sides of a small document to be copied to a
single sheet of paper, but they don't make up for the shortcomings.
Overall, our impression is of a fax machine that
can also be used as a convenience copier or as a reasonable black and white