Excellent print quality. Reasonably fast. High-yield toner cartridges available. Strong set of security features. Single-pass auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF). Lots of mobile connectivity features including NFC.
Somewhat expensive. High running costs. Big and heavy. Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct are extra.
- Bottom Line
A behemoth of a color laser all-in-one, the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN prints well, is respectably fast, and comes with a ton of features, but lower running costs would make it a better value.
Comparable in price with the Editors' Choice Dell Color Smart Multifunction Printer S3845cdn, the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN ($979) all-in-one(AIO) prints well and reasonably fast. It comes with a wealth of features, including a single-pass, auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) for unassisted, two-sided scanning, as well as paper input expandability, high-yield toner cartridges, and near-field communication (NFC) for printing from smartphones and tablets. With print, scan, copy, and fax functionality, the C405/DN is a capable AIO printer overall, but it's a little slower than the Dell S3845cdn, and its running costs are higher (especially for color prints). Even so, it's a good fit for low-to-moderate-volume printing and copying in small- to medium-size offices and workgroups.
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Everything but the Kitchen Sink
At 23.6 by 17 by 21.3 inches (HWD) and weighing a hefty 72 pounds, the two-tone C405/DN is nearly identical in size and weight to the Dell S3845cdn. In fact, aside from the Dell AIO's all-charcoal-gray color—in contrast to the C405/DN's off-white chassis with charcoal-gray output tray and ADF—one looks very much like the other. This is not a coincidence, though—Dell doesn't really make printers. In any case, both machines are significantly larger and heavier than the Samsung Multifunction Printer ProXpress C3060FW, another (less expensive) Editors' Choice color laser AIO. They are closer in size, but about nine pounds heavier than the Brother MFC-L8900CDW, which also costs a few hundred dollars less than the Xerox and Dell AIOs.
Unlike the Brother MFC-L8900CDW and the Samsung C3060FW, the C405/DN lacks Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct capability; to get either feature for the Xerox AIO, you must purchase a Wi-Fi adapter ($49). On the other hand, the C405/DN does support NFC, another peer-to-peer protocol for printing from mobile devices. In addition, the C405/DN's ADF holds up to 50 sheets, which is the same as the ADF of the Samsung C3060FW and the Dell S3845cdn, whereas the Brother MFC-L8900CDW's ADF holds 70 sheets. Like most of the AIOs compared here, the C405/DN has a single-pass, auto-duplexing ADF that scan both sides of two-sided documents simultaneously; the Samsung C3060FW, with its reversing auto-duplexing ADF, is the exception.
You can configure the C405/DN from a highly configurable 5-inch color-tablet-like touch display that comprises the entire control panel. The display also lets you perform walkup tasks, such as making copies or printing from the cloud or USB thumb drives (via the port located on the left-front side of the chassis). Each user can configure his or her own collection of apps, as well as download additional apps from Xerox's App Gallery. There are many downloadable apps that provide shortcuts to various functions. The Google Drive app, for instance, lets you scan documents directly to your Google Drive folders. You can also download similar apps for Office 365, OneDrive, and Dropbox.
The C405/DN has a 700-sheet paper input capacity, split between a 550-sheet drawer and a 150-sheet multipurpose tray, as does the Dell S3845cdn. If that's not enough, both AIOs let you add an additional 550-sheet tray, for a total of 1,250 sheets, and both have maximum monthly duty cycles of 80,000 pages, with recommended monthly print volumes of 2,000 to 6,000 pages. The lower-volume Brother MFC-J8900CDW and Samsung C3060FW have duty cycles from 20 to 25 percent lower, with maximum paper input capacities of 1,300 pages and 1,400 pages, respectively.
Connectivity and Security
In addition to NFC, the C405/DN supports Ethernet and USB 3.0 connectivity. The C405/DN's other mobile connectivity features include Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, Xerox Print Service Plug-In for Android, Xerox Mobile Cloud Print, Xerox Mobile Print Solution, and PrintByXerox.
The C405/DN's security features are extensive. They include 256-bit encryption, access control, audit log, automatic self-signed certificate creation, certificate path validation, user authentication, domain filtering, IP address filtering, Secure Print for restricting function access by user or department, security certificates, and NFC smart card authentication (with the purchase of an Optional Smart Card Enablement Kit). The user-authentication feature allows users to create and sign into his or her own individually configured control panel, while domain filtering and IP address filtering allow you to restrict access to the printer based on where on your network or on the internet the traffic is coming from.
Like the Dell S3845cdn, the Xerox C405/DN's default print mode is duplex, or automatic two-sided printing. For some reason, however, these two AIOs didn't achieve the same results on this portion of our tests. For example, when printing our 12-page, simply formatted, all-black-text Microsoft Word document, the C405/DN churned at 14 pages per minute (ppm), compared with the Dell model's 33.3ppm. When printing one-sided (simplex) pages, though, the results were much closer, at 36.7ppm for the C405/DN versus 34.7ppm for the Dell S3845cdn. The other two, less-expensive color laser AIOs, the Samsung C3060FW and the Brother MFC-J8900CDW, also managed over 30ppm in this test.
Our color speed tests consist of much more complex documents containing graphics and photos. We combine the results of these tests with those from the 12-page Microsoft Word document from the previous test to come up with a derivative print speed for the entire suite of test documents. Due to the complexity of our color test documents, most printers print speeds drop by about 50 to 70 percent. The C405/DN, for instance, achieved 13.6ppm in simplex mode on this part of our test regimen, compared with the Dell S3845cdn's 15.3 ppm. The Samsung C3060FW placed between the two, and the Brother MFC-J8900CDW came in a couple of pages behind the C405/DN.
The C405/DN churned out our test snapshots at an average of 13 seconds. Because they image the entire page in memory before printing it in one swift pass, laser printers typically print photographs quickly. The other three color laser AIOs discussed here all managed to print our sample images in less than 20 seconds.
As Good as It Gets
One of the Xerox C405/DN's strengths is its print quality. Text came out well-shaped and easy to read at all the sizes we test. Even small type, down to 4 points, was highly legible (even though magnification was required to actually read it). Like both the Dell S3845cdn and the Samsung C3060FW, the C405/DN's text quality is good enough for most business applications, even those that are meant to impress prospective clients.
Graphics quality, too, was better than what we've seen from most other printers in this class. In fact, it wasn't noticeably different from what we saw from the Dell S3845cdn. Fills, including the darker ones, came out solid and uniform throughout. Gradients flowed smoothly from one color or tint to the next, without any discernable stepping from one to the other. Hairlines (1 point and thinner) printed visibly and unbroken from end to end.
While laser printers aren't your ideal photograph printers, the C405/DN churned out excellent-looking photos, with bright and accurate colors and terrific detail. The only real flaw I saw was a slight loss of detail in bright areas of the image where toner coverage was thin. But these were the types of imperfections that required scrutiny. In other words, I had to look for them to find them, and even then, they never really marred the photos significantly.
High Cost Per Page
Above all else, it's the C405/DN's slightly high running costs that keep the otherwise exceptional Xerox AIO from gaining our Editors' Choice nod. Xerox's highest-yield toner cartridges are rated at 10,500 black pages and 8,000 color pages. Using the company's advertised prices and yield ratings for these four toner cartridges and the 60,000-page imaging drum kit, we calculated the cost per page (CPP) at 2.3 cents per monochrome page and 14.2 cents per color page. (The CPPs are 0.04-cent lower for the first 60,000 pages.) The S3845cdn's CPP come in at 1.4 cents for black and 8.9 cents for color, whereas the Samsung C3060FW's running costs are similar to those of the C405/DN. The Brother MFC-J8900CDW's CPPs are closer to the Dell C3845cdn.
A Good Time to Buy
In most ways, the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN is like the Editors' Choice Dell S3845cdn. Given the Xerox model's running costs, I like it better when it costs less than its Dell counterpart (at this writing, I found the C405/DN on sale for $170 off the list price, or $729, on the Xerox site and elsewhere). On the other hand, there are color laser AIOs out there, such as the Samsung C3060FW, that print as well and are almost as fast and sell for several hundred dollars less. Still, there's a lot to like about the C405/DN, especially its superb output quality. If you don't mind paying a little more (on a per-page basis) for toner—given that the S3845cdn is a Xerox AIO in Dell's clothing—the C405/DN is a strong alternative for up to medium-volume printing in a small- to medium-size office or workgroup.
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