It’s true. We’ve well and truly sunk our teeth into Kyocera products. This will be the third straight device from this Original Equipment Manufacturer that we’re going to review. In the first week of this month, we reviewed a colour laser single function device in the form of the Kyocera ECOSYS P7040cdn while in the second the Kyocera ECOSYS M3550IDN, a monochrome multifunction laser printer was in our crosshairs. Today, we’ll be reviewing the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw.
The Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw is a colour laser multifunction device which means that it can print, copy, scan, and fax. It is a well-rounded device that should suit most small-scale businesses out there. It has just the right capacity and just the right set of features to appeal to a small business that doesn’t need to print in large volumes regularly. Alternatively, it may appeal to the home office with heavy-duty printing needs as well.
You need to be careful about deciding on this one, however, because you don’t want to buy a device that offers less than what you need from your multifunction printer. The reason for this is that beyond a certain point, this device can’t be scaled up. Here’s our review with more details.
Strengths of Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw
This technological parity shows the most when it comes to the available connectivity options.
You can connect to this device through the USB 2.0 and Ethernet ports or wirelessly.
The latter two connectivity methods will make the device compatible with most mobile platforms including Apple Air Print, and Google Cloud Print.
Furthermore, the device will automatically support Kyocera’s proprietary mobile print app. It also needs to be mentioned that an optional slot for SD/SDHC card has been provided by the OEM.
Another excellent feature of the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw is automatic duplexing. Automatic duplexing is slowly becoming a standard feature in multifunction printers. However, generally and especially in this price range, you find that functionality to be dual-pass. This means that the printers print on one side of the paper, flip it, and then print the other side. This leads to a considerable reduction in print speed.
The automatic duplexing feature of the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw, though, is single-pass. This means that both sides of the sheet are printed simultaneously. This can save a considerable amount of time for the owner. The scanner on this device is also accomplished.
It scans at an impressive speed of 20 colour images per minute (ipm) and 30ipm if the images are black and white. Furthermore, you can use the scanner to send the image directly to email, FTP, USB, and SMB. WSD and TWAIN scans are also supported with possible file formats being XPS, TIFF, JPEG, and PDF.
Security is another element that the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw excels in. It boasts of some impressive security features such as IPsec, private print functionality, and high-security SSL encryption.
Weaknesses of Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw
This is evident from a number of its features. However, if you try to see its usefulness on the ground, then you may end up finding its limited volume printing capacity as a flaw.
It is evident from its features that the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw isn’t meant for high volume printing. If you think you may need to scale up in the future, then this becomes a flaw for you. If you think your printing needs will never exceed the maximum possible with the M5526cdw, then you don’t need to worry. We still need to point these aspects out.
We’ll start with paper handling. The Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw comes with a standard paper handling capacity of 300 sheets divided between the 250-sheet paper cassette and the 50-sheet multipurpose tray. This capacity can be augmented with the purchase of the optional paper cassette of 250 sheets. So, the maximum paper handling the M5526cdw is capable of is 550 sheets.
The situation with this device’s print speed is similar to its paper capacity. It’s not a super-fast device but neither is it slow for the market segment it is positioned in. The device is rated to print at a speed of 26 pages per minute (ppm) which is sufficient for small businesses with low to medium print volume needs.
Something that will give you more of a pause than everything we’ve mentioned till now is cost. The Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw is expensive to buy and run both. However, if it fits your needs otherwise, you can get around this problem. There are two elements to the cost problem. The first is the acquisition cost and the second is the running cost.
The best way to get around the acquisition cost is to shop around. While the listed price of the ECOSYS M5526cdw is upwards of $720, you can get it for under $600 provided you shop around enough. With respect to the running costs, you should prepare yourself to spend 21.46 cents per page if you have qualms about generic or compatible cartridges and only want to use OEM or genuine cartridges. If you’re willing to use generic cartridges, though, you can reduce your per-page costs to as low as 17 cents.
Key Features of Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw
The Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw is compact but not revolutionarily compact. It measures 495 in height, 429mm in depth, and 417mm in width which falls well within the acceptable spectrum in the market segment. Its weight is also average at 26 Kg.
The ECOSYS M5526cdw’s print quality is decent as well. It will not bring your business compliments but it won’t result in bad rep either. You’ll find text documents to be the best, graphics to be decent, and photos to be just below average as is the case with all laser devices in the market. The maximum resolution that the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw is capable of is 9600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi).
Inside the device, you’ll find an 800 MHz processor and a 512MB of RAM memory. While the processor is never upgraded in printing devices, you’ll be able to enhance the RAM memory to 1.5GB. These and other components combine to this device first print-out times of around 9.5 seconds.
Like all decent multifunction devices, the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw comes with a control panel as well. The control panel comprises a nearly 11cm colour touchscreen display, a keypad, and a number of other function buttons. The M5526cdw comes with the OEM’s COMMAND CENTRE RX and PRESCRIBE business applications. The latter is used for managing forms and documents that are printed regularly while the former simplified device maintenance.
The warranty on the Kyocera ECOSYS M5526cdw is to the tune of 24 months or 100,000 pages, whichever comes first. 100,000 pages is the life of the device’s highly durable ceramic drum.