The Ricoh looks too small to be a full-duplex A3 printer, but once the paper tray has been extended to accommodate the A3 paper it starts to look a little more like it.
The unit uses gels rather than liquid ink, which Ricoh claims should allow it to produce colour images as cheaply as colour lasers, but with the vibrant photo-realistic colours of an inkjet printer. The quality of the images we printed were certainly better than a laser, but they were not quite as good as an inkjet, and on the high-quality setting they took a long time to produce.
The duplex-unit which plugs into the back of the printer, worked well with A4 paper but we had recurring problems with the A3 paper supplied. We also could not get the printer driver to successfully print two A4 pages side-by-side on duplex.
On a fast print setting the unit shakes quite alarmingly, as the head zooms from side to side, but we are prepared to forgive this, and although the initial warm up is a bit longer than a laser the final speed is good. A first sheet arrives in four to seven seconds, and A4 monochrome speed hit about 12 pages per minute (ppm) on duplex, and about 18ppm on single-sided printing. A full colour A4 page at highest quality took a full five minutes, and just 30 seconds at reasonable quality.
It is a good, fast alternative to a laser, but the build quality needs some sorting out.
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