A laser printer for less. Read our Ricoh SP 150SUw Review
You’ll never regret owning a color inkjet printer… until the day you need 50 copies of a 20-page Word document at short notice. The tool for that job is a mono laser printer, and here’s one that’s cheap enough to keep in the study just in case. Even if you’re looking to equip a small office it might be all you need, with a scanner/copier built in.
Ricoh’s office machines go up to the size and price of a small car, but there’s nothing bulky about the Ricoh SP 150SUw. Its plain white plastic curves and black lid look reassuringly domestic, and it doesn’t make much noise, even though the fan grille on the left wouldn’t look out of place on an air-conditioning unit.
This do-it-all laser printer is just the job for your home or work office.
Frills are distinctly lacking. There’s no screen, barely any buttons, and pages have to be placed one at a time on the scanner. And if you need to copy or print both sides of a sheet you’ll have to do it manually. In the absence of a paper output tray, printed sheets land on your desk.
The first page of our basic text document printed in 10 seconds from cold, and the whole thing came out at over 20 pages per minute (ppm).
Graphics slowed this down to 15 ppm. A photocopy completed in 15 seconds, but scanning was slower: an A4 page took 29 seconds, while a sharp resolution scan at 300dpi took 32 seconds, 150dpi was no faster. A postcard-sized photo took just over a minute to capture at 1200 dpi, which is quite impressive.
Text and graphics looked crisp, and even photos weren’t spoiled by too much banding or blotchiness. Scans and copies looked slightly too dark, with white paper taking on a blue tint, and the software didn’t give us enough control to fix this. But the default settings worked well for photos, except that they lacked a little sharpness.
At around 3p per page when you buy Ricoh’s 1500-sheet ‘high yield’ toner cartridges, running costs are higher than for black-and-white output from some inkjet printers, but not prohibitive if you only use it occasionally. The supplied ‘starter’ cartridge is rated for 700 pages.
Wi-Fi is built in, but output from Apple and Android mobile devices relies on Ricoh’s own app. If you don’t need wireless printing, and if the scanner isn’t essential either you can find the plain SP 150 laser printer.
Ricoh SP 150SUw Verdict
You might miss double-sided printing, but otherwise this neat little laser printer does the job at a very reasonable price
ALTERNATIVE of Ricoh SP 150SUw
This multi-function Wi-Fi inkjet isn’t quite as fast, but costs about half as much in ink per text page
Ricoh SP 150SUw Specifications
1200x600dpi maximum print resolution • USB 2.0 • Ethernet • 802.11n Wi-Fi • 1200x1200dpi maximum scan resolution • 137x350x275mm (HxWxD) • 7.5kg