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.