With the MP161, Ricoh Aficio did a commendable job of packing quite a lot of features into a compact design. The goal of the MP161 was to remove the small, medium, and large printers that clutter many businesses and replace them with a multi-purpose machine that can do everything. This is quite a feat for a company that is generally known for rugged durability instead of sleek technology, making it a worthy option for any large home office or small business.
This boxy printer is designed like any of the hundreds of low-volume multi-purpose printers on the market. A slide out tray offers access to the 350 sheet main input tray as well as an auxiliary 150 sheet input tray. There are expansion options of up to 500 sheet trays as well. Along the roof of this monochrome laser printer is the fax input and output, the LED flatbed scanner, a small display, and the basic controls. This printer comes with a standard 16 MB of system memory but this can be upgraded all the way up to 384 MB. The fax machine runs at 33.6 kbps and can produce an average of one page per two seconds. Access to the bay to replace a used Ricoh MP161 toner cartridge is simple. There are standard hookups for a high speed USB 2.0 cable, Ethernet cords, WiFi connections, and even Bluetooth connections for PDAs.
For any business looking for a multi-function printer that can produce quality black prints on a small to medium volume, this could be the perfect machine. Ricoh has become exceedingly proficient at producing printers with enough expansion options to keep their machines growing along with the business. The first print speed is near 7 seconds which means there is not going to be many delays when prints are few and far between. All the maintenance is a snap as the Ricoh MP161 toner and paper trays can be accessed with a simple snap latch.
One of the major flaws that is going to limit this printer is the input tray size. Even with an upgraded 500 sheet tray, this printer is not suited for a high volume office. Along with the 16 page per minute speed, many businesses may find themselves hampered by the minimalist nature of the MP161. The only other problem with this printer is the quality of the greyscale prints which can become blurry with more complex designs.