Ricoh Aficio GX3050N GelSprinter Color Network Printer Review

Continuing my series on printers, today I’m taking a look at the Ricoh Aficio GX3050N GelSprinter Color Network Printer. Probably like you, I’ve known the Ricoh brand from small to mid-sized office copiers and I hadn’t really paid attention to their printer line aside from hooking up a copier as a printer to the office network. However, it turns out they’ve been moving into the Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) printer market for a while. Does this printer live up to the job or not?

Review Continued Below…

Ricoh Aficio GX3050N isn’t strictly an inkjet since it uses a fast drying gel rather than ink. This makes it faster than inkjets in the same price range. Functionally, it’s your basic printer with 4 ink/gel cartridge system and USB and RJ-45 network connectors. I tested this printer with an XP desktop in a service facility. Drivers for Vista and Mac are available as well from what I understand. The paper capacity is 250 sheets and an optional 100 sheet secondary feeder is available as an extra. The printer doesn’t have any internal photo printing capabilities.

Speed-wise, the GX3050N really kicked out the paper. While it wasn’t quite as fast as monochrome laser printers I’ve recently tested, it was considerably faster than comparably priced inkjets. It will do duplex printing and does it well, especially for an inexpensive printer.

The recommended duty cycle for the Ricoh GX3050N is 10,000 pages a month. The cartridges aren’t cheap, running about $50-60 on average for a replacement set. While printing out fast is a plus you do need to keep in mind the minus of how much your gel ink will cost you for this luxury. The build on the printer seemed sturdy and well suited for a SOHO environment. It didn’t have a flimsy feel to it like some other printers I’ve reviewed recently.

The printout quality of the Aficio GX3050N is what I’d call just OK. It isn’t as sharp on black text as a good monochrome laser printer nor is it as good as a 6 or 8 ink inkjet photo printer output. It’s sort of a jack of all trades, doing a good enough job but not a great job. If you need the quality output for things like sales presentations, photo printing and formal reports this isn’t your printer. However, it would be just fine for standard inner office printing like memos, rough drafts and cute ‘clean out the fridge’ signs.

Overall, I’d say the Ricoh Aficio GX3050N GelSprinter Color Network Printer is good, inexpensive, choice for low volume internal office color printing. I wouldn’t recommend it for general home use, especially where photo printing is desired, or for office situations where formal quality output is a necessity. As always, be on the lookout for deals since you should be able to find this printer for under $100.

 


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14 Comments »

Comment by Best CSS Gallery
2009-07-01 04:21:30

Very valuable review. Thank you

 
Comment by JL Palmetto
2009-07-01 07:36:27

Looks like eBay has good prices on it.

 
Comment by Buat Duit Online
2009-07-01 07:59:18

I wonder if the ink will dry up fast if the printer is seldom used.

Comment by jfc
2009-07-01 08:18:01

That’s a good question Buat.

I had that happen with an Epson CX5200 and it’s Durabrite ink. With that one it totally ruins the printer when it clogs.

I have to say because of that experience I’m a little suspicious about the long term performance of the gel system if the printer is left idle for a few months. The printhead on the Ricoh Aficio GX3050N doesn’t appear to be replaceable so if ink dries in the nozzle you might be screwed. But, given the low price of the printer this isn’t a huge problem.

 
 
Comment by bobjones
2009-07-01 20:21:42

I never heard of a gel printing system as used by the Ricoh Aficio GX3050N GelSprinter Color Network Printer - is this is very new technology? Honestly I hardly ever use my printer these days- everythign is electronic- even my invoices!

 
Comment by Typhoon
2009-07-03 11:22:06

I never heard about “Ricoh” company in India. So can’t be my choice..

 
Comment by Med Assistant
2009-07-05 15:11:56

Interesting…the gel thing is new to me, I only know inkjets and laser printers. I look forward to a day when we can have inexpensive laser printers. They’ve come down in price a lot and hopefully one day soon they will be an economical choice for the home office. I wonder how much the gel packs cost, since the refills are what get you with inkjets.

 
Comment by Free Memo
2009-07-25 06:23:02

A major headache with inkjet printers in an office context is that ink cartridges seem to run out far too often and there are never replacements to hand when you need them.
Maybe time has come for more choices than lasers and inkjets for colour printing. Ricoh has just launched some new competition, in the semi-liquid consistency of gel printing and i think has a chance to succeed.

 
Comment by caravans sales
2009-08-25 11:11:19

Great review as always, very in-depth. Not sure a jack-of-all-trades printer is up to the tasks I would demand of it so I’ll probably give this a miss.

 
Comment by kelowna
2009-09-03 10:49:19

I too honestly rarely ever use my printer these days- everythign is electronic- even my invoices!

 
Comment by Idiot Proof Diet
2009-10-21 07:11:25

Well when the speed is not that fast then the existing brands and even cartridges are not that cheap, so I don’t see any point that people will buy it.

As far as I am concerned I won’t buy it for sure.

 
2009-11-16 07:24:10

Its a good review. Looks good to have such one.

 
Comment by La Digue
2009-11-24 07:57:09

The printer seems to be OK but the cartridges are a bit expensive. And is the gel type cartridge better than plain ink ones? What’s the difference in using gel cartridges rather than ink ones? Anyway, that was a good review. Thanks for the share.

 
Comment by Mauritius Resto
2009-11-24 08:00:29

This has got to be really an inexpensive printer. For the price you can’t expect much about the quality. But the cartridges are a bit expensive, but if you run a business, it might not be a problem spending a few bucks on cartridges. Overall, a good review.

 
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