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9/96 Reviews HW: Digital Colorwriter LSR 2000 printer

Listing of September 1996 Reviews

Light Up a LAN with Fiery Color

By James Alan Miller

With the force of a hurricane, Electronics For Imaging (EFI) is taking the color printing world by storm with its Fiery XJE color print controller. Digital rides the resulting wave by incorporating this controller into its new high-end color printer, the Colorwriter LSR 2000. This printer offers excellent color reproduction and very good speed.

The Colorwriter is nearly identical to Canon's EFI printer, the CLBP 360PS. In fact, from a short distance, the two are nearly indistinguishable.The EFI controller incorporates a potent 64-bit 100MHz RISC chip for PostScript processing. Special ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) handle all other key operations, such as input and output, and data manipulation, thus allowing the RISC processor to focus on its main function. EFI's RIP-while-print technology lets you work on files while printing, while continuous print allows jobs to print uninterrupted.

The printer uses its 514MB hard disk to spool print jobs, and has 32MB of RAM, expandable to 48MB. Output resolution is 600x600 dots per inch, and its rated speeds are 3 pages per minute for color and 12ppm for monochrome. In my tests, the printer approached these speeds but, as expected, it slowed down when printing complex and large files. But the Colorwriter's superior print quality makes the wait worthwhile.

The Colorwriter's paper cassette accepts only 250 sheets. The cassette accommodates A4, letter, legal and B5 papers, and shows how much paper is left with a blue bar that shrinks as the paper in the tray is used. A multipurpose tray is used for transparencies and other papers, such as envelopes or 100 additional sheets of plain paper. An optional 250-sheet universal cassette doubles the Colorwriter's capacity.

The printer's networkability is impressive. The Colorwriter LSR 2000 supports IPX (Novell), TCP/IP and AppleTalk network protocols. It has built-in AUI and 10BaseT Ethernet ports, and can also handle concurrent parallel port and Ethernet connections.

The excellent documentation made setup a breeze. Using the printer's LCD panel, it's easy to scroll through setup options and set its configuration. The eight configuration buttons aren't labeled, but they become familiar quickly with the aid of the manual.

The Colorwriter is an excellent color printer, but its price may limit its appeal to graphics professionals and networked environments.

Digital's Colorwriter LSR 2000 delivers excellent color reproduction for graphics professionals and network environments. The printer toner cartridges are rated for 4,000 pages.

--Info File--
Digital Colorwriter LSR 2000 printer
Pros: Setup; color
Cons: Price; paper handling
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x, NT, various network Oses
Digital Equipment Corp.
800-777-4343, 508-624-6400
WinMag Box Score: 4.0

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