COLOR PRINTERS that can do pretty much everything abound in today's market. In fact, you can even find economy inkjet models in some corner drugstores. Those who need fast, quality color output and reliability, however, focus on laser printers like the Xerox VersaLink C405 multifunction device we are reviewing here. When teachers in our family noticed it produced such stunning images, even on regular paper, they started emailing us photos and documents to print for use in their classrooms. In all our years of testing printers, that’s never happened before.
Heavy, But Easy Setup
Most printers require mass (a stack) to ensure the paper registers correctly as it goes through their four laser ink cartridges, and this member of the VersaLink family is no exception. One person can wrestle it out of the box; but if that person happens to be you, be sure to strap on a weight belt first.
At 86 pounds, the C405/DN we tested (the DN model adds double-sided printing) gives the impression that an armored car driver was on the design team. On the plus side, it’s a sturdy device that doesn't wobble during operations—even when placed on a small table.
The VersaLink C405 is similar in size to the Xerox WorkCentre 6515 we reviewed with several upgrades, including a tilting touchscreen control panel, App Gallery, larger paper tray, and increased print speed.
This device requires little human intervention during setup. After plugging in an Ethernet cable (the unit supports up to 1 Gbps connections), the printer quickly located the DHCP server and connected to the network. Our Windows 10-equipped PC found the correct model and then downloaded the client drivers. Adding the device in the “Devices and Printers” panel was also fast and simple.
Xerox offers an odd custom Wi-Fi dongle (sold separately) that plugs into a proprietary port on the printer. We configured this optional attachment through the browser interface, and it worked just fine. While you can type all the print job details into the unit's large color touchscreen, we did appreciate having a keyboard option.
After setting up the device, we discovered that its Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections could be active at the same time, in addition to the Wi-Fi Direct, which supports printing from mobile devices such as tablets and phones. Concurrent connections are rare in this class. Perhaps that's why Xerox chose the name VersaLink for this family of printers?
No matter what they call it, the connections work. We downloaded the app onto a Motorola Android phone and all our photos printed without any problems. The phone located the device and completed all the "handshaking" automatically without any help on our end.