Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw Review

The Kyocera ECOSYS P2040DW was designed for high productivity and speed. It has a blazing fast 40ppm (pages per minute) print rate and a 50,000 maximum duty cycle per month. At 1200dpi its print resolution is higher than the majority of mono laser printers. The main paper tray is just 250 A4 paper sheets deep. However, two additional cassette units can be added to expand its paper capacity to up to 850 sheets.

The printer costs about £249 (AU$475, US$348) so it may seem expensive for a desktop device that is print-only and has no touchscreen. However, you also need to consider Kyocera’s efficiency-enhancing features and long-lasting components. The ECOSYS brand products have been built to last. There is a standard two-year guarantee that comes with them along with a three-year guarantee on the developer and drum. There is an eco mode as well to improve the yield you receive from the toner cartridge. Over time, this makes your total ownership cost more competitive.

Wi-Fit is built into the Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw model and there is enough toner that comes with the starter cartridge to print 3,600 pages. A high-capacity cartridge is available which can give your productivity a boost to provide you with a consumables cost of about 1.7 cents (1.2 pence) per page, which is quite competitive. There are a number of accessories that are available as well that can be added as your business expands, including a wooden cabinet and extra paper trays.

Build and design

The Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw features a compact desktop design that is convenient and has an unobtrusive aesthetic and small footprint that any smart office would welcome. It is heavy at 14kg and its plastic casing also feels robust. You don’t need to worry about any precarious paper trays or extending drawers. Since it is an LED laser printer, its insides have fewer moving parts compared to a non-LED model. As a result, Kyocera products last longer.

It has a basic control panel with a two-line tiny display next to a group of fussy buttons. For your convenience, the printer has a slanted backlit display. However, it cannot be tilted and is difficult to see no matter what angle you look from. Navigating the on-screen menu on this printer can be a big hassle if a touchscreen interface is what you are used to.

When you open the front panel you will see its multipurpose 100-sheet paper tray and underneath that is its main paper tray that can hold up to 250 A4 paper sheets. A 350-sheet main tray and single-feed multipurpose slot are offered by other Kyocera printers and we believe this is a more useful arrangement.

The drawer has a window in it so you see the amount of paper that is loaded in it. The front has a USB Host port as well. It can be quite useful when doing walk-up printing from your USB thumb drive directly. The toner cartridge can be accessed by opening up the front section.

Specifications and features

The Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw is a basic A4 monochrome printer without any fancy features. However, it has very impressive specifications. For example, with its premium cost, you may have expected it to come with a touchscreen or an NFC module. However, it only has a small display and USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi connectivity. It is able to auto duplex and can handle all weights of paper to 220gsm and size. However, it is unable to print onto cards.

Compared to most of its competition, however, it can print at a higher resolution and faster. The simplex printing quoted figure of 40ppm is not an exaggeration and to print on both sides doesn’t slow it down much. At 256 MB, the amount of memory is decent enough to ensure the smooth rollout of large documents. The out time on the first page is an average of 7 seconds, but it does have a more unusual 1,200dpi enhanced resolution. In terms of fine print quality, it provides the Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw with a distinct advantage. For improved density and clarity, set it to Kyocera Image Refinement (KIR) mode.

It comes with a Quiet Mode that has a had button of its own. That reduces the noise level considerably printing at a rate that is slightly slower. You can save a significant amount of toner in Draft Mode, as long as you don’t mind a print quality that is paler. The N-up function allows you to save paper by compositing multiple pre-rendered pages onto one page.

The default is an auto-duplex mode, but the front part of the printer also has a USB Host port. As with most of these inputs, it is unable to recognise or print Microsoft documents. However, it is able to handle XPS, TIFF, JPEG, and PDF files. The PostScript 3 and driver and Apple AirPrint are available for the printer, so it is fully compatible with Macs.

Don’t let the Kyocera UK website confuse you. It wrongly claims that the P2040dw comes with a “vast array of features” which includes copying. However, it is a print-only device.

Operation and setup

It does not take much to set up a mono laser printer. Just reinstall the toner cartridge, remove all of the packagings and then follow the prompts on the screen to get your printers onto the W-Fi network. Your computer can also be connected directly by a USB data cable (not included) or by Wi-Fi Direct. An instruction manual did not come with our pre-loved review sample. However, we also don’t think you need one.

The printer’s scattering of buttons and cramped two-line display make it a bit of a nightmare to navigate the on-screen menu system, so the fact there are not a lot of features to access is probably just as well. It would be helpful if the companion app for Android and iOS let you toggle between the different print modes. However, it does not. Instead, it must be preserved using the old-fashioned interface on the printer.

Generally speaking, the Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw printer wells well in operation. However, some emergency maintenance needed to be done on the review sample that was sent to us to prevent toner from leaking out each time a document was printed. The problem appeared to be fixed by re-installing its toner cartridge, although many subsequent pages came out with black marks on them, despite the fact that we thoroughly cleaned the printer.

Performance

The rest of our sessions went quite well. We didn’t have any misprints or paper jams. You will also notice quickly the Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw prints. It has a very quick boot-up time and out time on the first page as well as a very fast print rate. The paper turns over without any pause or fuss in the procedure when in duplex mode.

Surprisingly, the printer quality is light on tone and at times is too pale for a majority of purposes. Even when set to the highest quality settings, our printed test pages all looked grey instead of black and there were some images that were nearly too faint to be able to see. There was reasonable detail on printed black and white photos, but they were too washed out to be able to compare to those printed by laser machines at a similar price point.

Our final verdict

There are obvious strengths possessed by the Kyocera ECOSYS P2040dw printer and it feels and looks well put together. Not many laser printers can beat it when it comes to image resolution and speed. It is a compact device, and although it has an initial high cost, its long-term cost is reduced by its long-lasting components and efficient usage of toner. However, despite its 1,200dipi resolution, it has just an average print quality and is too pale when it comes to mixed image documents and photos to be able to compete effectively with laser printers at a similar price point.

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