Kyocera TASKalfa 2552ci
The headline price is steep, but you get fantastic quality and features for the money – and ongoing costs are low
Kyocera’s TASKalfa MFPs are real workhorses – typically they’re suited to businesses looking to consolidate the roles of several old printers into one. The 2552ci is the entry point of the new TASKalfa A3 family, combining print, copy and scan features with a 1,200dpi engine, a ton of feature options and professional-grade print quality.
True, print speeds aren’t earthshattering: Kyocera quotes 25ppm for A4 and 12ppm for A3. Rather, the appeal of this printer lies in its versatility. One feature that designers will love is SRA3 support – the 2552ci can take 450 x 320mm paper, which can be trimmed down to A3 for borderless prints and posters.
The free-standing printer comes with two 500-sheet drawers, one for A4 and one for A3/SRA3. To these, three high-capacity options can be added for a total capacity of 7,150 pages. You can also add various document processors for the scanner, plus internal and external document finishers, a job separator, a mailbox sorter – the list goes on.
Kyocera’s modular approach also extends to connectivity, with wireless networking, WiFi Direct, NFC and fax all absent from the standard unit, but offered as optional boards. Another add-on that’s worth considering is the CB-7110M wheeled base cabinet: the base printer weighs 90kg, so it’s otherwise a struggle even for two people to move.
The starting price might look alarming, but it’s mitigated by some of the lowest running costs in the business. Combine the big 20K black and 12K colour cartridges with an OPC drum rated for at least 200K pages and you’ll get a mono A4 page for 0.3p, and a colour one for only 2.3p.
The base unit also includes a 32GB M.2 SSD, which allows the 2552ci to support Kyocera’s HyPAS app platform right out of the box. This lets you add services such as Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox and OneDrive: we simply installed the respective PKG files from a USB stick and saw them pop up in the printer’s user-friendly 22.8cm colour touchscreen. At £100 each these apps aren’t cheap, but they’re certainly convenient, letting you scan and print from cloud accounts directly at the operator panel.
Another app that’s worth investigating is ColourControl: costing £125, this enforces printing restrictions at the control panel. Using it, we were able to link the printer to our Active Directory server and set up user-based PIN restrictions to authorise colour usage. Kyocera also offers a USB card-reader kit for walk-up authentication using security keys.
Support for Google Cloud Print and AirPrint is built in, and can be enabled from the main web console. We had no problems printing from our iPad, and the free MyPanel iOS app let us link up with our Evernote, Dropbox and OneDrive accounts.
In our tests, the printer achieved the quoted speeds for all our A4 and A3 colour and mono documents – and its 1,200dpi engine delivered stunning print quality, with razor-sharp text and superbly detailed mono photographs. Colour prints are a particular strength: our photos and A3 posters had real pizzazz, with excellent detail, faultless tonal balance and not a hint of banding, even in large single-colour blocks. Transitions across complex colour fades were beautifully smooth, and the Windows driver also offers a Vivid setting for extra visual punch.
The TASKalfa 2552ci isn’t the fastest laser MFP on the block, nor the most affordable. But it’s easily the most versatile – and if you can overcome the initial price barrier, individual prints are very cheap indeed. It’s the perfect choice for high-volume, high-quality advertising and marketing material.
LEFT Kyocera’s web interface and driver panel provide excellent levels of control over the printing process
ABOVE Extra drawers give the TASKalfa 2552ci a huge capacity of over 7,000 pages