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WinLab Reviews
Xerox Document WorkCentre Pro 535
Slow and Steady Won't Win This Race

-- by Cheryl Dominianni

The Xerox Document WorkCentre Pro 535 aspires to be a jack of all trades for today's busy offices. It offers a telephone, plain-paper laser faxing, convenience copying, 300-dot-per-inch laser printing at 4 pages per minute and PC faxing from Windows-all in one small unit (15.4 by 9.1 by 14.6 inches, 21.8 pounds)

Along with good documentation and an installation guide, Xerox provides a helpful video-based demonstration for installation procedures and routine operations.

Like most multifunction machines, the WorkCentre Pro 535 uses the standard numeric keypad for spelling out names. Fax options allow you to set a faxing schedule to take advantage of lower phone rates, temporarily lower transmission speed for successful overseas communication, and produce a reduced image of a faxed document together with confirmation and error messages. That comes in handy when several people share the machine.

The Pro 535's input tray handles 160 sheets of letter, legal and A4 paper sizes, but no envelopes; the automatic feed tray holds up to 20 pages. When copying and faxing, everything is first scanned into memory, which takes about 5 seconds per page. The unit comes with standard memory for 20 fax pages, upgradable to 144 pages (2MB of RAM costs $199). Xerox recommends you install the extra memory, and based on our tests, we'd agree, especially if you print long or graphics-intensive documents.

The toner cartridge life is estimated at approximately 1,200 copies (replacement cost is $25 for two cartridges), slightly more than a penny per page. The process unit should last for about 9,000 copies ($220 replacement cost)

Unfortunately, the Pro 535 turned in a not-so-professional performance. Try to print even a one-page document, and you're facing a 60-second wait time before printing begins. That climbs to 2 minutes or more to process longer documents. To complicate matters, Xerox says you must use an IEEE 1284 bidirectional cable no longer than 6 feet, but doesn't supply one. Once printing begins, however, the Pro 535 does live up to its rating of 4ppm. The print quality, as expected, compares favorably with standalone desktop lasers.

Print limitations will keep the WorkCentre Pro 535 from displacing the Sharp F-2700M we recommend on the WinList. But its crisp text, quiet operation and full-featured faxing will appeal to multifunction fans.

Xerox Document WorkCentre Pro 535
Price: $1,095
Platforms: 3x, 95
Pros: Quiet; great features; excellent documentation; good for casual users who don't mind waiting
Cons: Long print times; no envelope feeder; may cause bottlenecks in a busy office
Strongest rival: Sharp F-2700M
Xerox Corp.
800-ASK-XEROX, 415-813-6800
Circle #557 or visit Winfo Online

Windows Magazine, May 1997, page 128.

[ Go to May 1997 Table of Contents ]