The Phaser 8560MFP is Fuji Xerox's latest top-end addition to its range of colour laser printers. Designed as the multifunction iteration of the Phaser 8560, this new model adds the ability to scan, copy and fax. With adequate colour reproduction and an easy-to-use network interface, the Phaser 8560MFP will prove useful in a small to medium office environment.
At 620mm(L)x532(W)x665(H), the Phaser 8560MFP is quite large in comparison to its competitors. It is also quite awkwardly designed, requiring two people to lift it when it needs to be moved. The Phaser 8560MFP came in two separate boxes and required some minor assembly, though this isn't too difficult. While setting up the printer we discovered that the provided drivers were incompatible with Vista, and the suggested Fuji Xerox Web site was outdated. Nevertheless, once we found the right drivers on Fuji Xerox's newer Web site, the printer was quite simple to get up and running.
The Phaser 8560MFP comes with two trays to hold up to 625 sheets of plain paper at a time. This limit can be extended with Fuji Xerox's additional paper trays. The multifunction also has an auto-duplex unit installed into the machine for automatic double-sided printing.
While it has a USB port, the device is designed for network use, with functions like Secure Print and Centreware IS included. Secure Print ensures document security by holding documents in the print queue until a pre-determined PIN is entered. This feature is quite useful for sensitive documents in a busy office area. Centreware IS also provides remote access to the printer's functions, allowing users to retrieve scanned images and adjust print queues by simply entering the printer's local IP address in any Web browser. The Web server has an attractive, easy-to-use interface with varying levels of security dependent on the situation.
Print speeds were surprisingly quick. We managed to replicate the Phaser 8560MFP's advertised speed of 30 pages per minute in our real-world tests, printing full page text documents at the standard quality setting. Documents with both graphics and text elements printed at 24ppm, which remains an acceptable printing speed for the office. Using the printer's "photo" or best quality setting, the Phaser 8560MFP slowed to 10.3ppm although print quality was noticeably better. Copying speeds were also acceptable at 10.9ppm, with the first page printed in under 20sec.
The Phaser 8560MFP's printing quality was of a high standard. The multifunction device uses Fuji Xerox's patented solid ink technology, which it claims provides better results with a reduced environmental impact. Text was crisp, and colour reproduction was accurate. Standard quality revealed some washed-out colours, but quality was better using the "photo" setting. While the colours in most of our photo prints were accurate, the photos suffered from a noticeable grain. However, the multifunction is designed primarily for text and graphics printing.
The scanner has a resolution of 600x600dpi, which is sufficient for text but limits the level of detail that can be captured from photos and graphics. Our tests revealed some pixelation in scanned photos, but the results had a realistic contrast, with flesh tones comparatively richer than scanners such as the PIXMA MP970 and Stylus Photo RX690. The laptop we used had some difficulty recognising the Phaser 8560MFP's scanner over USB; however, its built-in Web server was able to cope well with network-based scanning. The multifunction has a 40GB hard drive, which is more than adequate for saving scanned images.