Konica Minolta has not generally been known for developing new printer technology, instead they are recognised for perfecting existing technology in very sleek, multi-function machines. This perception is shattered with their Magicolor 1690MF, a printer that takes a brand new look at how colour prints are made. While this printer does have some impressive specs and features, it takes a closer inspection to decide if it is really worth the price tag.
The simple appearance of the Magicolor 1690MF is deceiving for all the features that it possesses. In the base model, a small pull out drawer reveals the 100 sheet input while a side hatch gives access to the Konica Minolta 1690MF toner cartridges. The flatbed scanner, 50 sheet automatic document feeder, and basic LCD display is on the top. A simple pin pad and few basic buttons control the majority of the printer's functions which can also be accessed via the provided software. The back of the printer houses the 10/100BaseT Ethernet and USB sockets along with the power cord. There are a handful of expansions including a 500 sheet input tray upgrade and an automatic duplexing addition. Changing Konica Minolta 1690MF toner cartridges is easy and requires no extra technical knowledge, although the manual will take you through the entire process.
Traditional colour printers have a 'single run' setup. This means that pages run through the drum a single time per print. The Magicolor 1690MF runs the sheets through a total of four times for every colour print. This makes for exceedingly slow speeds, 5 colour prints per minute, but amazing quality. Black text prints do come out at an impressive 20 sheets per minute as they only go through once. The other amazing aspect of this printer is the small foot print to the overwhelming amount of features include the automatic document feeder, scanner, built-in fax machine, and network compatibility.
While the prints come out flawless, the scan feature of the 1690MF does leave some things to be desired. Scans may come out as grainy or streaky with complex graphics and colours. The only other major qualm would be the lack of features on the base model, which are more suited for a personal or home office than a small business.