Gear

Xerox Phaser 7760/DN

Impressive color laser printer

xeroxphaserAspiring to own a serious color laser printer is something that designers have fought with for years. Today, as inkjet printers have improved and now offer excellent quality that can be more affordable, do the new laser models have a chance to survive? Xerox, the company that has always set the standard for professional-grade color laser printers, steps up with their new Phaser 7760/DN, an incredibly fast and fully loaded model that’s a goliath of a printer with a delicate touch so that even small things come out well from this big package.

Like many of the true office/professional-grade laser printers, the Phaser 7760 arrives not in a box, but on a pallet—and I don’t mean a color palette. At more than 200 lbs without the packaging, your best bet is to have some help in moving this bulky beast. Initial setup was relatively simple; the only snag was installing the ink tanks. Once I removed the tape on the ink canister that covers the machine’s access point, I had to use extra care because the sliding panel can open easily. Of course, it did leave me with a small pile of magenta powder (that wasn’t easy to clean up). I was impressed, however, that the ink levels reflected that small loss on the LCD display. The initial warm-up time was nearly 30 minutes but print times beyond that point were extremely fast, producing 35 ppm in color and 45 ppm in black-and-white, as indicated by the manufacturer.

Regarding the output quality, once you go through the initial automatic setup and visual calibration (always recommended with professional printers), the Phaser 7760 produces incredibly sharp text down to 6 points and only begins to show a slight edge distortion at 5 points or below. It was surprising that even 3-point text was legible—should you have a desire to create a movie contract or other serious “fine print.”

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Any 2D or 3D images and output with shadows or gradients faired much better than with most professional laser printers: no signs of streaking or excessive grain and with reasonable visible noise where shadow effects sat against background textures or solid colors. Color accuracy was excellent using both my own calibrations and the profiles available for download from the Xerox website. Black-level density was the only obstacle—it took three attempts with the onscreen light and dark (eyeball) calibration for the grays to lose their slight offset. Even at that point, black ink levels were nearly 10% denser than I prefer and the gray tones appear a bit like a grid—no amount of adjustment seemed to get that under control. This isn’t a contrast issue and the output is well above that of most other models in this class of printer.

The Xerox Phaser 7760 has many built-in features that help it accomplish a superior level of output, including an 800-MHz processor, 512-MB (standard) or 1-GB (optional) memory, 1200×1200 dpi output, PostScript 3 support, and standard (yes, standard) two-sided printing. Optional GX and DX models increase capacity and add advanced color-matching capabilities along with a host of IT features (for more information, visit the Xerox website). The Energy Star-compliant and quiet-running Phaser 7760 includes support for all standard computer operating systems, color profile tools, and networking. If you’re looking for a fast, high-output, professional laser printer with excellent-looking text, accurate color, feature-rich expansion, and—well, who isn’t? Then this is your goliath.— Daniel M. East

PRICE: $6,299
FROM: Xerox Corporation
PHONE: 888-247-5107
WEB: www.direct.xerox.com
FOR: Mac and Windows
RATING: 4.5

LAYERS VERDICT
HOT Extremely accurate; great output; fast
NOT Large/heavy size; dense black level

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