EStudio45 can make fast work of your paper

EStudio45 can make fast work of your paper

Though bulky in size, the Toshiba eStudio45 is the fastest printer-copier-scanner-fax device the GCN Lab has ever tested.

The high-capacity Toshiba eStudio45 is the fastest multifunction device yet tested in the GCN Lab.

Like most print-scan-copy-fax machines for medium to large workgroups, the eStudio45 must be set up by company technicians. Managing the consumables requires some training but is relatively easy because toner and fixer need replenishing only about every 150,000 sheets.

Our tests processed more than 10,000 pages, and the last looked as good as the first. We found only one printing error'a minor smudge on one sheet.

To ensure that the eStudio needs minimal attention, Toshiba gave it 3,700-sheet paper capacity. Trays can accept several paper sizes. The biggest 2,500-sheet tray would probably be reserved for letter-size paper. There are two 550-sheet feeders for larger sizes, plus a 100-sheet feeder.

Although the 160-pound device is big, at 40 inches tall and 26 inches wide, it's no slowpoke. From the time we hit Print on the keyboard, we counted no more than five seconds before the first page emerged. After a fast startup, the eStudio burned through documents at 45 pages per minute.

Unless your desk is quite close to the device, a print job will likely be finished by the time you walk there. The eStudio takes 30 seconds to warm up and start printing from power-saving mode or a cold start. Otherwise, print time is three seconds.

With common documents, the eStudio 45 pegged the advertised 45-ppm rate. For all-graphics pages, the average dropped only slightly to about 43 ppm.

The 366-MHz print controller has 64M of RAM. A built-in 10/100Base-T network card links to your network, or you can opt for a token-ring connection.

For security-conscious offices, a special feature lets users type in an identification code before the eStudio prints anything. That way, the worker who sent the print job can make sure the area is secure before the document appears.

If the eStudio were a slow printer, this feature would no doubt prove annoying. But at 45 ppm, you don't waste a lot of time taking a few steps to ensure that unauthorized eyes cannot see your sensitive data.

Swiss army knife

We would have awarded the eStudio a B+ or A- grade if it were just a fast, monochrome network printer. But it's also a copy machine, data fax and scanner.

The Super G3 33.6-Kbps fax modem can store up to 400 phone book entries in memory. The eStudio can also do LAN faxing and Internet faxing.

In our tests, the eStudio45 on average could scan and fax a 50-page, mixed-media document in 2 minutes, 20 seconds.

As a network scanner, it balanced speed and resolution well. It scanned at 600 by 600 dots per inch with 266 gradations. That's high quality at a far faster rate than most 1,200-dpi scanners can deliver.

We consider the eStudio45's fairly steep $9,500 price tag reasonable considering its multiple functions and good performance.

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