The C9500dxn's advantage lies in its low consumables costs; somehow Xerox manages to charge significantly more for the same stuff than Oki Data does. But to come out from under the shadow of the Phaser 7300DN, the C9500dxn will need to excel in other areas as well.
Sharp's AR-C200P resembles the Oki Data C7300n right down to the documentation and drivers, which look identical except for the name change. But there's one key difference: cost. The AR-C200P carries a higher street price and charges a lot more for the same consumables. Although it's as solid a printer as its doppelganger, we can't justify paying more for it.
It's too bad, because it's a nice printer, with the same high monthly duty cycle and maximum paper capacity as the C7300n. Its print samples look identical and come out at basically the same speed with the identical clamshell top offering convenient access to the pricey toner cartridges.
Printed setup and reference guides show the same proofing mistakes as we saw in the Oki Data versions, but they're also just as thorough. The management software looks and works the same.
Sharp made a sensible choice to rebrand the Oki Data C7300n; it's a solid entry-level color printer. But in pricing the consumables so high, they've deprived the AR-C200P of a better rating in our roundup.
Xerox Phaser 6250N
Xerox's Phaser 6250N offers the best version of an unremarkable, entry-level color laser similar to the Konica Minolta Magicolor 3300 DN and Brother HL-4200CN. It manages slightly better print quality than its Konica and Brother competitors, but text still looks fuzzy, while color photos look nice. It can't stop itself from printing when the output tray/toner cartridge cover is removed -- an odd oversight -- but at least its multipurpose tray design is easier to open.
On the other hand, the Phaser 6250N scores big points for ease of use. Copious labels guide the user around the printer's interior. The control panel's messages speak English instead of error-code pidgin. Documentation includes a pictorial setup guide, a printed quick-reference guide, and a well-organized, CD-based manual including instructional videos. Xerox's CentreWare applications offer an impressive depth and breadth of printer management tools.
Despite its compact design, the Phaser 6250N is ready for action. It offers a high, 100,000-page monthly duty cycle and a hefty 256MB of memory. Thanks to its comparatively fast color speed, the Phaser 6250N rated above fuller-featured printers in the same price range. Only the significantly bigger and pricier Xerox Phaser 7750DN outpaced it.
Consumables remain a sticking point. Xerox's costs are among the highest. The toner cartridges that come with the printer last a mere 4,000 pages, forcing a quicker replacement. If you're on a budget, the Oki Data C7300n is a more economical, if slightly inferior, alternative.
Xerox Phaser 7300DN
Midpriced color printers have a demanding audience: larger, busier workgroups that need versatility, quality, and speed. Xerox's Phaser 7300DN juggles all these tasks capably, locking horns with the HP Color LaserJet 5500n for best in class. And what of its near-identical twin, Oki Data's C9500dxn? In an Iron Chef match-up, Xerox manages to make better printouts with almost the same ingredients.