GCN Lab Review | Kyocera Mita FS-C5030N

Detail-oriented: Kyocera Mita FS-C5030N

Pros: Best color detail, photos pop off page

Cons: Loud, cumbersome install program, light colors were too dark

Price: $2,625

Print speed: B

Color accuracy: A

Features: A-

Value: A-

The FS-C5030N is ideally suited to offices where almost all the printing is in color and details matter a lot.

The FS-C5030N is not super speedy, although it's not terribly slow either. In our tests, it took 25 seconds on average to print the first page of a document and then picked up the pace, but still turned in a sluggish time of two minutes and five seconds on our 30-page text document, slowest in our review.

It printed our text and graphics test in three minutes and 24 seconds.

Where the FS-C5030N really shone was in reproducing details. On one very lightly colored test photograph of a forest fire, it was one of only two printers that could produce images where individual leaves were clearly discernable.

For text, the output was clean and readable. In fact it may have been a touch too black, which is fine with plain text but becomes evident when trying to print out light-colored letters in presentations or newsletters.

Oddly enough, this overdark problem only seemed to occur when printing colored text, not light-colored photos, which showed near-perfect color matching.

Aside from not being the fastest printer of the bunch, there were some other minor problems with the FS-C5030N. The strangest one was the volume of the printer, certainly the loudest system we've tested. It made a sound like a siren going off when it revved up for printing. As such, it's probably best kept in its own room somewhere, not in a cubicle.

In addition, the FS-C5030N had the least-elegant install program. It had no idea what printer we were using and required us to find the model from a huge list of very similarly named and numbered products. We actually missed the FS-C5030N several times and started to think it might not be listed until we stumbled across it. This might not sound like a big deal, but no other printer made us jump through such hoops.

Of the printers we tested for this issue, the FS-C5030N is middle-of-the-pack. It would be a good choice for offices that print mostly graphics.

Kyocera Mita America, Fairfield, N.J., (973) 808-8444, ww.kyoceramita.com/us.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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