The Xerox Phaser 6180 is a color laser printer that places the company firmly in the printer market. Known mainly for its photocopiers, this foray into printers is a bold move by Xerox. The industry already has some heavy hitters, so attempting to join them is an ambitious thing indeed.
The 6180 is a bulky machine, but not so big that you couldn’t use it as a home worker or telecommuter. It looks remarkably similar to the Dell 3110cn, but maybe that just coincidence. They both have a more vertical construction than many others on the market, so it’s footprint is kept to a minimum.
Paper is handled by a 250 sheet paper tray at the base, and a 150 sheet tray you can use by folding down a flap at the front. There is also an optional 550 sheet drawer you can buy if you’re a heavy user. Under the flap for the manual tray is where the toners can be found. There are four that sit in a row one above the other.
Print speed is average in its class with it producing text at a rate of 23 pages per minute and images at 2 pages per minute. If you want to print in photo mode, on glossy paper then that rate drops to .5 pages per minute.
Print quality is excellent for text, and good for images. Color tended to appear dark until we adjusted it in the control panel. After that it was clear and even from then on. Image quality was pretty good, with only a little evidence of artifacts on our photo sample. Text was very clear, with edges being clear and sharp even down to the smaller point sizes.
The enclosed documentation is excellent. The 6180 has a very clear and well produced user guide and set up instructions. Users of any skill level will be able to have the printer up and running in no time.
The control panel is simple and easy to use. It has a few buttons for features and menu navigation and the screen is mainly there for maintenance. It displays error codes, paper and toner levels, so you have a constant idea of when they might need replacing.
The 6180n is network ready and is straightforward to add to workgroups. There is also a 6180dn which adds a duplexing function to the printer. The basic 6180 has the option of upgrading but it will cost an extra $200 to do so.
Overall the Xerox Phaser 6180 is a good, solid performer. It prints well, reasonably quickly and has the Xerox brand behind it.