Ky­ocera TASKalfa 2552ci

The head­line price is steep, but you get fan­tas­tic qual­ity and fea­tures for the money – and on­go­ing costs are low

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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

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