The Printer Showcase, Inc., Computers  Supplies & Parts, Marietta, GA
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In Short: The new VersaLink C500 and C600 replace the Phaser 6700 series as the fastest desk-top color printers from Xerox. The new VersaLink C500 and C600 represent another complete redesign from the ground up with some mixed results. The new engine is much smaller and lighter than the previous engine which is generally a plus but the big upgrade is the overall improvement in throughput. Xerox combines this new smaller, faster, desktop color engine, with a fast 1.05 GHz processor, fast Ethernet, and 2GB RAM to maximize performance. Rated at up to 55PPM and 45PPM for color or monochrome respectively, the VersaLink C600 and C500 did very well in all our speed tests. Set up was easy once the printer is unpacked. The four standard toners that are included install in the front of the printer. Installing the Xerox C500 or C600 on a network also seems fast as the Xerox printer installation software works flawlessly.

The new VersaLink C600 and C500 have a stated resolution of up to 1200x2400, and the print quality produced in our testing overall was good for most office use. Black and white documents look super sharp and color gradients were mostly ok, with the greens or colors with a lot of green being the biggest weakness.  Another issue is a faint horizontal flat seam in the texture of the print that appears from certain angles about every 3.25 inches (if printing in portrait mode). This is more noticeable on densely printed pages with heavy coverage and some people may be more sensitive to it. However the print quality is ultimately adequate for most office applications. Xerox offers three different levels of replacement toners for each of these models making our cost per page calculations, and buying replacement toners more complicated. For the C600 or C500 models, Xerox offers standard-capacity, high-capacity, and extra-high-capacity replacement toners. However, even when calculating with their Extra High-Capacity toners, The VersaLink C600 and C500 would still be two of the more expensive printers to operate compared to their respective price/ performance competitors. Both the C600 and C500 include a 550-sheet feeder and a 150-sheet capacity MP feeder that can feed paper as heavy as 80lb cover stock, (220 g/m2). All configurations include Adobe PostScript 3, PCL5e, PCL6, USB 3.0, and Ethernet 10/100/1000BaseT. The DN configuration also include auto-duplex for automated two-sided printing. Other optional configurations include additional paper feeders, finisher, mailbox, and internal HD.

The Bottom Line: The new Xerox VersaLink C600 or C500 is a very fast and compact desktop color printer with decent paper handling and print quality. The relatively high operating cost is the biggest negative mark for a printer in this performance class.  All configurations are network ready. These printers will work well on both the Mac and Windows OS. 

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