Xerox ColorQube 9201 Printer and Copier Review
What is a ColorQube and what makes it special?
The Xerox ColorQube line of printers and copiers use a special melted wax technology instead of ink or toner. The benefits of this are less waste, fewer moving parts, lower costs per printed sheet, and high quality color output. Instead of emptying out a container of toxic toner every few weeks, you empty out a small try of excess melted colored wax, also known as a crayon.
How does the ColorQube compare to other office copiers?
There is a downside to the ColorQube. Even the fastest available model is slower than the previous generation of fast laser printers offered by Xerox. The 4590 laser copier, for example, could do 90 printed pages per minute. Some other models offered over 100 prints per minute. The ColorQube, on the other hand, never gets over 60 prints per minute even on the fastest setting with only black color used.
Let's get negative
There's no hiding the fact that there are still some serious flaws to be worked out with the ColorQube. It's far too loud for an office setting with the top model finisher attached. The way this finisher collates paper is with spinning plastic arms that make a cricket-like noise as they contact paper every few seconds.
My major qualm with the ColorQube has to do with the features that were inexplicably left out. For example, booklet creation is no longer easily accessible from the on-screen menu. The past 5 models of copy machines I've worked with have all included this feature prominently on the menu, but on the ColorQube you need to really search for it, and you have to know what you're doing, because this machine is not going to do it for you.
The print driver for the ColorQube 9201 leaves a lot to be desired. It'll have errors on very simple print jobs with no explanation for what is causing the error. This is very similar to problems experienced with the original print driver for the Xerox 2128 color machine released several years ago. I think the Xerox engineers and software writers need to get up to speed with the Xerox salesmen on what these machines are capable of actually doing.
To the Xerox employees who think the print driver works just fine, I have this challenge for you: take a pdf electronic document formatted in letter size and print it as an 11x17 booklet, with a fold and staple in the middle and two pages of the document printed on each side of the 11x17 piece of paper. This is something that was easy to do on the 2128, and it's easy to do on the competing copier models. I have had Xerox reps and technicians look at this issue, and nobody can figure out how to do it with the current print driver. Someone probably should be fired for this massive oversight.
Should I buy/lease a ColorQube?
If your office prints a lot of color copies and prints, the ColorQube might be right for you. The cost is considerably lower than color laser prints, the quality is about the same, and the print speed is faster for color when compared to laser.
If you use your copier and printer like any normal business, the ColorQube will quickly replace the philandering boss as the a-hole of the office. You'll probably have to pay for expensive repairs as users begin to fight back against the machine and injure some of its vital internal mechanisms. In other words, you will hate this machine.