Kyocera recently upgraded a range of mono multifunction laser printers tailored for small to medium businesses and they've now decided to perform a similar makeover to a collection of A4 colour MFPs.
Most of the changes are geared around meeting new environmental standards and optimising task performance.
The ECOSYS M6026cidn is at the higher end of this spectrum and has been brought in to replace the FS-C2526MFP as a solid workhorse that can be programmed to meet specific business needs.
This is arranged through Kyocera's proprietary HyPAS (Hybrid Platform for Advanced Solutions) software which enables users to create their own targeted business apps to speed up workflow and efficiency.
If you want a multifunction colour printer that also includes fax capability, then you can opt for the M6026cidn's sister machine the M6526cidn - however this will bump the price from £3,660 to £4,140. Both printers come with 1GB of general memory that can be doubled if necessary.
The basic dimensions of the M6026cidn are identical to its predecessor, with standard measurements of 514 x 550 x 603mm (WDH) and a reassuringly chunky weight of 38.7 kg with the toner installed. Having said that, it's still a usefully compact MFP with all optional extras not widening the initial footprint.
Tracking down from the top, you pass a 50-sheet ADF that sits squarely astride the scanner. At the front is a drop-down 50-sheet multi-purpose tray that handles all sizes from A4 to envelopes.
It would have been preferable to have a more secure locking mechanism on this component as the sprung push-button mechanism is more likely to be accidentally released.
Above the MP is the main control panel which is the star of the show - all buttons are large, clearly labelled and spaced with a responsive colour touch screen display in the centre.
Below the controls is the capacious 150-sheet output tray and in the base is a 250-sheet paper cassette.
If you have a particularly heavy workload then two further 500-sheet paper feeders can be supplemented underneath and to make the whole structure easier to manoeuvre, an additional wooden storage cabinet complete with castors can be bolted on to the bottom.
Perhaps with the next upgrade, Kyocera could consider providing a 500-sheet cassette as the norm, bearing in mind the cost of this MFP would deter many small businesses from investing in it.
In terms of connectivity, your immediate choice is between USB 2.0 to individual PC or Mac and Ethernet for networking. Kyocera has also fitted an expansion slot round the back that can be filled with a Gigabit-Ethernet board 10BaseT/100BaseTX/1000BaseT or a Wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n) which will then enable mobile print support including via AirPrint.
Other extras include a 32GB or 128GB SSD hard disc and a USB ID Card Reader kit. The only other pre-installed input is a USB port to the right of the output tray which allows for printing from and scanning to a flash drive.
The printer cartridges slot neatly into their housings from above and the initial set-up includes a 3,500 page black with 2,500 page yellow, magenta and cyan.
Obviously it makes financial sense to replace these with the high yield 7,000 page black and 5,000 page colours once the starter pack runs out, as that will mean average costs of just 1.13p per page for black and 1.76p per page for each colour.
Any waste toner is collected in the waste toner box you insert into the bottom right compartment before getting under way.