Toshiba E-Studio 6CP

Attractive printing and superior ease of use highlight this color laser

WHAT'S HOT: The smaller and less expensive of the two Toshiba color lasers we reviewed delivered text at a zippy 11.1 pages per minute and color pages at a respectable 1.9 ppm. We liked its clean, accurate text, though type appeared too light and feathered slightly on our text documents and the toner had a slightly grayish cast. The E-Studio 6CP did a top-notch job of printing narrow parallel lines, and it delivered good, clear detail and attractive shading on both color and gray-scale graphics.

The control panel menus are easy to navigate, and a cheat-sheet located in a pouch attached to the printer explains error codes. Toshiba's driver has an account-tracking feature to allocate printing costs within an organization, and it can print a file as an overlay of another file--for example, it can print a form template over a formatted block of text.

WHAT'S NOT: The main tray doesn't accommodate legal-size paper; if your office needs a tray that does, you'll have to pay $87 extra. Because the E-Studio 6CP has no auxiliary feed, if you want to print a single transparency or envelope quickly, you'll have to swap it with whatever paper already sits in the main tray. And with only 32MB of memory in the default configuration, the printer may slow down or back up into the spooler when handling a large file.

Toshiba provides a fine printed set-up guide, but the rest of the documentation is a collection of two- and three-page digital PDF documents that stint on details.

WHAT ELSE: You can add a 500-sheet feeder to the E-Studio 6CP for $479. Toshiba also sells a duplexer (for $679), but that component won't work without the 500-sheet feeder.

UPSHOT: For business with low-volume production, the E-Studio 6CP nicely combines fine print quality, intuitive controls, and a moderate price.

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