There was a time when multifunction printers were expected to be able to handle a high volume of print tasks. Nowadays, multifunction printers come in all shapes, sizes and most importantly different volume requirements. The device we’re going to be reviewing here was launched in 2016, as reported by us. It has since seen a lot of mileage in a highly competitive market segment. Despite that, it has remained relevant to a certain extent. We’re talking about the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn.
The Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn is a colour multifunction device which means that it can print, copy, scan, and fax. The fact that it can’t handle high volume requirements suggests that it is better suited to smaller offices with low to medium duty printing needs. Read our review to learn more about this device.
Strengths of Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn
For a small office with light-duty printing requirements, the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn will offer decent paper handling capacity. In fact, within this specified segment, this device actually does well. The standard trim of this device boasts of a total input paper capacity of 300 sheets split between the 250-sheet primary drawer and the 50-sheet multipurpose tray or bypass. Further, this paper capacity can be augmented to 550 sheets by the addition of the optional 250-sheet secondary paper tray. The paper capacity won’t be held back by the print engine since this device has a monthly duty cycle of 65,000 pages per month.
The scanner on the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn is also one of its strengths. The scanning speed of the M5521cdn is decent at 20 images per minute (ipm) for colour documents and 30 ipm for black and white sheets. You can use the device to scan images to a USB drive, FTP, email, and of course a folder. Along with this, the machine supports WIA and TWAIN scanning too. There is also a 50-sheet automatic document feeder that allows for the automatic duplexing capability. Automatic duplexing is printing on both sides of the same sheet and is beneficial because it helps in cutting paper costs.
Security features of the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn are fairly strong as well. It supports both network and local authentication along with LDAP for users with more advanced needs.
For a business printer, the ECOSYS M5521cdn isn’t all that expensive either. The listed price of this device in the market is $419 but you can generally get it lower online. The lowest this price can go, however, is $335 as seen on our own website. While the acquisition cost of this device is on the lower side, its running costs are very much average. If you use cartridges manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), then you’ll pay around 22.57 cents per page but you can bring this down by using aftermarket cartridges. Using third-party manufactured, generic, or compatible cartridges will see you spend about 18.37 cents per page.
Weaknesses of Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn
If you choose to go for the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn, you won’t be paying through your nose. This, however, means some compromises. In other words, you’ll have to make peace with some weaknesses. The foremost of these weaknesses is that you won’t be able to connect to the ECOSYS M5521cdn wirelessly. The connectivity options available to you with this device are USB 2.0 and Ethernet. If connecting wirelessly to your multifunction device is an absolute necessity for you then you will have the option to go for the slightly more expensive Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdw. Even though wireless connectivity isn’t possible with the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn, you can still use this device with your mobile devices. By connecting through the Ethernet port, you’ll be able to use Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, and Kyocera’s dedicated mobile print app.
The printing speed of the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn can also be said to be one of its limitations. While the M5521cdn isn’t exactly slow, it does fall behind some of its competitors. For most businesses, this minor difference shouldn’t be a problem. It is only the technically purist people who will object to the slightly slower print speed. The Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn is formally rated to print at a speed of 21 pages per minute (ppm).
In case your printing needs are diverse and with specific requirements, you should take note that the OEM offers no finishers with the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn. This is another sign that this device isn’t really meant for big businesses.
Key Features of Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn
The print output quality of the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn is very much in the expected range. It is neither excellent nor poor. You will find both text and image prints to be satisfactory, although the standard for images and graphics will be what is expected from a laser device. Text prints will be clean and crisp enough that even smaller font sizes will be legible to the naked eye. You shouldn’t rely on this device to print graphics and images for customers or clients because, as is the case with all laser devices, they will fail to impress.
The Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn is also a compact device which is good since small businesses can often face spatial challenges. It is 417mm wide, 429mm high, and 495mm high, giving it a cuboidal appearance. While compact, it isn’t exactly lightweight since it weighs approximately 26 Kg. Inside the device, the print engine depends on the 800 MHz processor and 512MB RAM memory. The processor, as always, remains the same but the RAM can be upgraded to 1.5GB. All this technology means that this device can give you the first print out in less than 11 seconds.
The device also possesses an elaborate control panel right on top and to the front. The control panel is dominated by a 5-line LCD screen and is accompanied by an army of hard keys for various functions. There are no less than 39 different buttons and that doesn’t even include the navigation keys or the numerical keypad. Suffice it to say that if you’re in a hurry, then you can easily get this device to do anything for you without sitting down on a computer.
Kyocera has also ensured that the Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn benefits from its proprietary business applications such as the COMMAND CENTRE RX and PRESCRIBE. Both have different functions. The latter can be used to set up forms that are used by the business repeatedly while the former is good for remote maintenance of the device. The ECOSYS M5521cdn comes with a warranty that lasts for either two years or the printing of 100,000 pages, whichever comes first.