When most people think about Multi-Function Printers (MFPs), they imagine a scanner, printer, and copier, all in one. While the Xerox Phaser 3635MFP is all of these things (and a fax machine too, depending on the model), it adds more ease and functionality than any other MFP we've tested.
Our evaluation unit was the 3635MFP/S (no fax). At 18.6 x 18.8 x 21.4 inches, its footprint isn't much larger than other current laser printer offerings, although it is a little taller.
Installation was quick and easy. While the 3635 has a USB 2.0 port in the back, we used the 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connection to attach it to our network. After inserting the toner cartridge, adding paper and turning it on, the unit warmed up and we were greeted with an installation wizard on the clear, full-color, 7-inch touch screen control panel. When instructed to, we inserted the smartcard-like "feature enablement key" into the specified slot, and everything was ready to go. Driver installation was just as simple.
Using the touch screen is very intuitive. The main menu is icon based and once a function is selected, a tabbed interface appears. The bright display then changes windows depending on the tab chosen. Additionally, the 3635 can be configured, monitored and administered remotely via a browser-based console. Network connectivity includes most of the common protocols.
One of the unique features of the device is email capability. After the settings are configured, users can scan documents directly to an email address. Recipient's addresses can be added using the touch screen, but the machine can also be set up to access global or corporate address books using LDAP. A Local Address Book can be created from a list of names and addresses in a CSV file too. Email output formats include TIFF, mTIFF, JPEG, and PDF. When used for faxing, the 3635 has a Forward to Email feature that allows incoming and/or outgoing faxes to be automatically forwarded to an email recipient for tracking purposes.
Another interesting element is a second USB 2.0 port in the front. When a flash drive is plugged in, users can print directly from any file on the drive. Documents can also be scanned straight into the flash drive as well.
User access can be controlled with individual logins and accounting features allow administrators to track and analyze usage by function. Other security features include the ability to hold print and fax jobs in a queue until released by the job owner and automatic "shredding" of image data either after every job or on request.
In testing, speeds were fast. Both print and scan jobs averaged 33 ppm, while copying was at approximately 24 ppm. Job start-up times were speedy too; With the unit in Ready mode, print jobs started 9 seconds after being sent, exactly as Xerox specifies. Even from Sleep mode, the 3635 took only 30 seconds to print the first page.
Environmental measurements were also within spec, drawing 13 watts in sleep mode, 22 watts at idle, and an average of 550 watts when printing. Sound levels were approximately 62 dBA.
Reviewers were very pleased with the Phaser 3635MFP's performance and feature-set. Quality and speed of the print-outs are relatively good for its class. Rated with a monthly duty cycle of 75,000 pages, it is up to the challenge of most SMBs and even some enterprises. Pricing starts at $1,799 as tested and $2,099 with fax capability. Considering the multiple devices it can replace, and the ease of operation, it is definitely worth checking out for those in the MFP market.