» Product miniReviews

NextGen: Patient Portal

August 1, 2011 by Melissa Pardo

The NextGen Patient Portal is a Web-based electronic health record (EHR) system that allows patients to be more proactive about their health and physician visits. It also is intended to help busy medical offices, especially smaller practices, cut down on administrative tasks, increase revenue, and provide better quality of care. More…

McKesson: Medisoft Clinical

July 27, 2011 by Melissa Pardo

McKesson’s Medisoft Clinical software is a combination of both a practice management (via the Medisoft version 17 system) and electronic medical record (EMR) solution. It is intended for small practices with some limited staff that have a need to reduce time-consuming administrative tasks and still provide quality care to patients. More…

The Phaser 8560/8580 family

June 23, 2010 by Luke Marchie


Sum-up: Solid ink printers with good speed and acceptable consumables costs.

The Phaser 8560 family is one of the latest product offerings in Xerox’s constantly evolving line of solid ink printers. Solid ink printers (Xerox is the only company selling office printers with this technology) have little to do with the more common thermal ink jet printers of the small or home office. Instead, solid ink is a technology in office printing competing with laser and LED machines. We consider it a laser-class technology, and it compares favorably with standard color lasers.

Resolution: Solid ink printers offer what we consider to be excellent image quality. Even the default settings seem to produce pretty accurate color renderings, though this print technology is not intended for those who need exact color matching (unlike, say, Xerox’s own Phaser 7760 series).

These printers work at a variety of speeds, depending on resolution. As we have said, resolution is not the biggest issue when dealing with color quality, especially given the way a solid ink jet deposits ink on the page. On the other hand, if you demand extremely crisp black-and-white type, you’ll have to run at higher than the standard resolution.

This generation of solid ink printers offers very respectable speeds. The 8560 engines are rated for up to 30ppm, both in color and in black-and-white. Numbers don’t tell the complete story here -30ppm are achieved in the “fast” color mode, which is 225 x 400dpi. The default mode is “enhanced” mode, which is 1,200dpi interpolated. On the 8560 printers, that runs at 16ppm, a bit over half the speed of “fast” mode. 2010-EC-logo

In addition, the Phaser 8560 models have two other modes. The “standard” mode prints at 300 x 450dpi at a speed of 24ppm. The “photo” mode has an interpolated resolution of 2,400dpi and prints at 10ppm.

You select a printing mode (other than the default) as an option in the print dialog box. Because solid ink technology is so different from toner, it is hard to make exact comparisons between these resolutions and those of other color printers in this guide. To our eyes, the “enhanced” mode is excellent for demanding design work. The standard resolution sounds low compared with the 1,200dpi claimed by some rivals, but we find that the resolution is totally acceptable, even in “standard” mode. Likewise, “fast mode” resolution (30ppm) is totally acceptable for drafts, memos, and most other internal documents. Again, this is more an issue about type rather than graphics. And while photo-quality printing is not very fast, it runs circles around the real-life photo printing speeds on most regular (liquid) ink jet printers.

Features: These models come with powerful 600MHz processors, ensuring that they will handle images fast enough to keep the engine cranking out pages. Indeed, this printer series is very respectable for everyday black-and-white office printing as well, especially because it is less expensive for printing in black than many rivals.

The Phaser 8560 printers are also very easy to maintain. For example, when you have to change consumables, you need only open the top cover of the machine and slide in blocks of ink that look and feel like crayons. The printer melts those “crayons” and sprays the melted extract onto the paper.

You can’t even make a mistake, as each of the four colors has a unique shape that only fits in the appropriate slot. Replacing supplies on some color printers can be a daunting task, but not on these models.

Per-page prices are moderate and compare well to similar small-workgroup color lasers. An average color page costs about 10.8¢, and a black-and-white page costs 2¢. These prices are for the default resolution, the so-called “enhanced” mode. Costs for “standard” and “fast” modes, since they lay down less ink, are less expensive.

Versions: There are four Phaser 8560 models. All of them come with both USB and Ethernet ports, as well as optional Wi-Fi. They are:

  • The Phaser 8560N (street price $699), which comes with 256MB of memory, upgradeable to 1GB, and 625 sheets of standard paper input.
  • The Phaser 8560DN (street price $899), which adds duplexing.
  • The Phaser 8560DT (at $1,399), which has 512MB of memory upgradeable to 1GB and comes with 1,150 sheets of input.
  • The Phaser 8560DX (at $1,999), which comes with 1,675 sheets of input and a hard disk standard.

Each model starts with a 100-sheet bypass and a 525-sheet standard paper tray. Second and third 525-sheet paper trays are available (optional on the lower-end models). The maximum input capacity for the models is 1,675 sheets. The bypass can handle up to 80lb. cover stock, which is heavier stock than 110lb. index. Output capacity is a simple 250-sheet tray.

PostScript and PCL are standard features on all models. Direct PDF printing requires a hard disk, which is standard on the 8560DX.

When it comes to pricing, the Phaser 8560 series is very competitive with its laser and LED counterparts at the low end of the midrange level of the market. But the Phaser 8560 family is really in a category by itself.

One additional plus, these machines are small in dimension and weight, unlike some laser competitors.

However, the Phaser 8560 models are not intended for really high-volume use. Xerox rates them for 85,000 pages per month, but the small output tray is a clear indication that this printer series is better suited for a moderate flow of work. The warm-up time may be an issue as well. It’s considerably longer than that for LED and laser, but this should be a once-a-day issue. The first-page-out time once the machine is warmed up (around 5 seconds in both color and black-and-white) is outstanding.

These machines are capable of producing very good color output and good black-and-white documents as well. They are easy to use and can be pretty fast when it comes to full-color output, though not at the highest resolution. Keep in mind, however, that this series does not have the paper-handling capability to be used in place of a departmental laser printer.

If you plan on printing heavier volume, you should look at the Phaser 8860DN below. But all things told, we really like the Phaser 8560 family. We find its attractive pricing, small footprint, quiet operation, and reasonable sticker prices to be excellent features – so excellent, in fact, that the 8560 family earns our Editor’s Choice Award for a third year.

Xerox Phaser 8560N

Xerox Phaser 8560DN

Xerox Phaser 8560DT

Xerox Phaser 8560DX

30ppm color (“fast” mode)

30ppm black & white (“fast” mode)

Canon’s new desktop document scanner

January 27, 2010 by Melissa Pardo

The new Canon imageFORMULA DR-2020U ($695) scans at 20ppm simplex, 40ipm duplex. In addition to a 50-sheet document feeder, it includes an 8.5″ x 11.7″ flatbed platen. It has a small footprint. More…

New Sharp B&W copier-MFP for small workgroup

January 27, 2010 by Steve Hannaford

The Sharp 20ppm MX-M200D is a new entry-level copier/MFP with a compact footprint and pretty decent features. This ledger-size machine extends Sharp’s flagship MX line to the small workgroup. More…

Samsung’s new midsize-workgroup color MFP

January 27, 2010 by Steve Hannaford

The new $8,249 MultiXpress CLX-8540ND prints and copies at 40ppm in both black-and-white and color. Maximum monthly duty cycle is 100,000 pages. More…

Muratec’s Fastest MFP to Date

January 27, 2010 by Steve Hannaford

The $5,995 (list) MFX-4555 Professional Edition is Muratec’s fastest and most powerful multifunctional offering to date. This 45ppm printer/MFP is derived from Samsung’s SCX-6545N model. It includes copying, printing, scanning and optional faxing. More…

New Lexmark ledger-size black-and-white office printer

January 27, 2010 by Steve Hannaford

Lexmark’s ledger-size W850 Series prints at 50ppm and include the network-ready W850n ($2,899) and the network-ready and duplexing W850dn ($3,299). More…

Kyocera’s new midsize-workgroup black-and-white copier MFP

January 27, 2010 by Steve Hannaford

The Kyocera TASKalfa 300 ($8,493) copies and prints at 30ppm. More…

Light-production color MFP part of canon’s new line

January 27, 2010 by Steve Hannaford

The new imageRUNNER ADVANCE C9000 PRO series represent a major upgrade in Canon’s product line. More…

Fujitsu’s new network scanner

December 8, 2009 by Steve Hannaford

The Fujitsu ScanSnap fi-6010N iScanner ($2,995 list) is Fujitsu’s entry into the growing category of networked scanners that are geared to document scanning but also can be used for such functions as scan-to-email and scan-to-network fax. More…

Dell’s New Ledger-sized Color Printer

December 8, 2009 by Steve Hannaford

A speedy ledger-size model, the $2,799 Dell 7130cdn Color Printer is its most ambitious color offering to date. More…

New Lexmark ledger-sized monochrome MFPs

November 9, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

The Lexmark X860 family of black-and-white MFPs is part of the overhaul of Lexmark’s entire multifunctional line, and they incorporate a new design and a number of innovative features. More…

New InfoPrint monochrome production printers

November 9, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

The new InfoPrint Pro 907 family is the fruit of InfoPrint’s close relationship with Ricoh. Both InfoPrint and Ricoh sell these models as printer-copier versions. All are upgrades to Ricoh’s previous generation of Pro models. More…

Lexmark’s new color MFP for small workgroup

November 9, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

The network-ready $999 Lexmark X546dtn prints at 25ppm in both color and black-and-white. PostScript and PCL support are standard, along with direct imaging of PDF and XPS files. More…

Print green without breaking the bank

October 22, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

This new printer from Xerox contains some impressive green features. More…

OKI’s new family of small-workgroup black-and-white MFPs

September 29, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

OKI Printing Solutions’ new 22ppm MB200 line of black-and-white laser MFPs consists of three models. More…

New Lexmark inkjet all-in-ones for the small office

September 29, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

The new Lexmark Prospect Pro all-in-ones are intended for business users and print at up to 33ppm in draft mode in black-and-white, 30ppm in color. More…

Dell’s new desktop laser printer

September 23, 2009 by Sam Narisi

Dell delivers a new laser printer that’s affordable and has a small footprint. More…

Dell Desktop Color MFP for Small Offices

August 31, 2009 by Sam Narisi

Priced at $399, the new Dell 1235cn Multifunction Color Laser Printer is suited to an individual user or small workgroup. As you would expect for the low price, the features are on the modest side, but they go well beyond the minimal. It has a slow color speed, 4ppm, with a pretty good 17ppm black output speed. More…

New Oce Color Copier-MFP for Large Workgroups

August 31, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

The Océ VarioLink 5522c runs at 55ppm in black and 45ppm in color, while the VarioLink 6522c runs at 50ppm in color and 65ppm in black. More…

New Ricoh black-and-white office printer

August 19, 2009 by Sam Narisi

The Ricoh Aficio SP 4210N is a black-and-white printer for small-to-midsize workgroups. More…

New monochrome ledger-sized copiers

August 12, 2009 by Sam Narisi

Impressive features make these two new Kyocera copiers a great value. More…

New Xerox desktop MFPs for small workgroups

August 5, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

For companies looking for desktop MFPs suitable for small groups, here are two new options from Xerox. More…

New workgroup color lasers from Konica Minolta

July 31, 2009 by Steve Hannaford

Konica Minolta’s magicolor printer line keeps expanding with some very strong models. The new 5650EN and 5670EN provide solid productivity for a large workgroup. More…

OKI C9650 series offers strong ledger-size color printing

July 20, 2009 by Steve Hannaford

The OKI Printing Solutions 9650 ledger-size printers have replaced the excellent C9600 family. They add more power, more memory and additional finishing options to those very good departmental color printers. More…

Toshiba refreshes office copier lineup

July 15, 2009 by Sam Narisi

Toshiba recently announced a top-to-bottom restructuring of its black-and-white copier multifunctional line for the office. More…

Lexmark’s feature-laden C730 family of workgroup color printers

July 15, 2009 by Melissa Pardo

These new models, the C730 series, are part of an overall upgrade in Lexmark’s whole printer and printer-multifunctional line with a comprehensive new design that offers both obvious and subtle improvements. More…

A small-footprint copier MFP

July 13, 2009 by Steve Hannaford

The MX-B401 is Sharp’s new black-and-white high-speed (40ppm) office machine. While it has many of the features and some of the look of a copier-multifunctional, it also is like a printer-multifunctional in that it handles paper up to legal size, not ledger-size paper like most copier MFPs. More…

Brother MFC-7340: An affordable desktop laser MFP

July 1, 2009 by Sam Narisi

The MFC-7340 is a new black-and-white MFP based on Brother’s proven architecture. This model offers straightforward but minimal features at $200. It offers a document feeder and fax capability along with a decent 21ppm speed for printing and copying. More…



  • How to Select a Web Host
    November 27, 2011 by marketing

    Creating a new website?  Not sure how to choose from among all the options?  Need shared hosting, small business hosting, or VPS hosting?  Lots of email accounts? 5-star reliability rating? Fortunately, there’s information available to help. The Best Web Hosts is great resource that will help you select the best web hosting company. It features reviews, rankings, and definitions that can help make your job of selecting a new web host more effective.

  • SMART Steps Towards Workload Automation
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    Consolidating job scheduling into a single, comprehensive workload automation solution is a critical first step to effective Workload Automation (WLA).

    Download the free whitepaper here! More…

  • Identifying and Thwarting Malicious Intrusions
    January 12, 2010 by Luke Marchie

    Identifying and Thwarting Malicious Intrusions

    The phenomenal growth in social media has opened the door for all new malicious intrusions from gangs of cyber criminals. Utilizing the trusted relationships in social networking and benefiting from immature security and content controls, hackers are seeing increased performance in their attacks.

    Download the free whitepaper here More…

  • The Security Issues with Web 2.0
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    Download the free whitepaper here


  • Network-Critical Physical Infrastructure: Optimizing Business Value
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    Download the free whitepaper here! More…

  • The New World of eCrime: Targeted Brand Attacks and How to Combat Them
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    Nothing is more valuable to a business than its reputation. That is why brand attacks, which leverage a company’s valuable brand for nefarious purposes, must be battled on every possible front. Brand attacks are the new form of eCrime, and they’re being launched with new and rapidly evolving exploits, including phishing and—most recently—malware.

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  • DDoS: The Mother of All Cyber Threats
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    Don’t wait until your business is targeted. A Forrester Consulting study commissioned by VeriSign revealed that nearly 75 percent of the 400 study respondents have experienced one or more DDoS attacks in the past year. Yet, most e-commerce businesses are not prepared for a large-scale DDoS attack. Could your business afford three or more hours of downtime? Avoid that revenue loss by registering for this free white paper

    Click here to download the free white paper More…

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