Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn review

This oversized bread bin rattles out perfect cost-effective pages

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Our Verdict

This bulky and basic A4 printer has few features and the simplest two-line LCD display, but it does one thing very well, and that’s churning out crisp and colourful A4 documents quickly, consistently and at a high capacity.

For

  • Fast and precise printing
  • Well-contained colours
  • High capacity paper trays
  • Ideal for large work groups

Against

  • Cramped keys and two-line display
  • No inbuilt Wi-Fi (it’s an option)
  • Photos look dark
  • Bulky for an A4 printer

The Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn is basic print-only machine aimed at the small to medium sized office and it’s as frill-free in terms of features, as its simply styling suggests. It is a step-up from the Kyocera Ecosys P5026cdw in terms of price and while it offers no more features for the extra money, the specifications are more impressive, especially in terms of speed and capacity.

There’s room for 500 sheets of A4 paper in the main tray and another 100 in the multipurpose tray. And with toner cartridges included that can deliver up to 6,000 pages, this is clearly a machine that would suit a much larger workgroup. 

It is fast too, turning out mono, or colour pages at a rate of 30 per minute. The interface feels rudimentary, but once you’ve filled it with toner and paper, you shouldn’t need to mess about with it anyway. 

Printer with box contents

Design

The design of the Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn couldn’t be simpler and while it is quite some considerable size and weight, it manages to blend into the background more effectively than your average office eyesore. Tipping the scales at 28.3kg, it’s too hefty to share your desk, but it could lurk happily beneath it.

Paper tray

The bulk is explained by the capacious paper trays and large toner cartridges that it hides behind its beige plastic panelling. You can access the main paper drawer from the front, just below the flap for the multi-purpose paper tray.  The four toner cartridges can be accessed by lifting the top panel.

Display

We criticised the tiny control panel of the more affordable Kyocera Ecosys P5026cdw, but this one is no bigger and not much better. The black and white LCD panel can only show two lines of text and the buttons feel cheap. 

Printer with test pages

Spec Sheet

Here are the full specs of the Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn:

Type: Colour laser printer 

Functions: Print only

Ink: Four toner cartridges (C, M, Y, K)

Paper size: Up to A4

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB

Data storage slot: USB port

Print speed: 30ppm

Main paper tray capacity: 500 sheets

Print quality: 1,200 x 1,200dpi

Duplex: Yes

Scan quality: N/A 

Apple AirPrint: Yes

Google Cloud Print: Yes

App support: iOS/Android

Consumables included: Four toner cartridges     

Size/weight: 390 x 532 x 410mm (HxWxD)/28.3kg

Features

The Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn is a print-only device, so there’s no scanner or fax here. It can take up to A4-sized paper and four other types and weights of media including envelopes. There’s no Wi-Fi on board, so you need to plug in the Ethernet cable to find it on your network and print wirelessly.

It can print in colour or mono on both sides of the page and it has a relatively prompt warm-up time of up to 26 seconds. The quoted print speed of 30ppm (not in duplex mode) is also impressive, and almost as quick as Brother MFC-L8690CDW. 

A free companion app called Kyocera Mobile Print makes it possible to print from cloud services such as Evernote and Dropbox, but it doesn’t tell you how much toner you have left. The app also allows you to set up a four-digit PIN if you want to password protect some documents. This seems a logical feature for a printer that could serve quite a large work group. 

Setup and operation

Getting the Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn is easier than getting the thing out of the box. It is a two-person lift, but once you have it on the table, there's very little else to do. Four levers activate the toner cartridges, which are already in place inside the machine, so you only need to pull these, remove all the transport tape, plug in the power and Ethernet cables and turn on.

Setup

With no Wi-Fi to worry about the setup wizard takes seconds, although the printer then goes into ‘cleaning’ mode, which takes five minutes. 

Printer with front flap open

Using the Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn is fine, despite the tiny display and buttons, because it’s only when you switch between paper types that you have to actually use them. Scrolling between A4, A5, envelope etc, is a nuisance when the screen can only display two lines. The app makes things easier, but it cannot tell you how much toner you have left. 

How we test printers

Each printer we source for testing is measured on our test bench and the results are critically compared with every other model we have reviewed. Rather than relying on the manufacturer’s quoted figures, we time the first page out and print speeds in single sheet and duplex mode using a standard ten-page document and a stopwatch app. To compare print quality, we print out the same set of test documents on every machine. These twelve test pages include text of varying font sizes and colours, mixed image and text pages, a set of photos and a series of test patterns designed to assess sharpness, colour fidelity, contrast and grey scale. 

We also calculate running costs, compare functionality and consider each product’s versatility, design and build quality. The overall score reflects all of these parameters and overall value for money.

Performance

The Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn performed well in out tests without any creases, doubling of pages, or paper jams. It printed quickly, delivering ten duplex pages in fifty seconds from a cold start, while the quoted maximum page rate of 30ppm proved to be no exaggeration. It is fast, but it is a little noisier than the average laser printer. 

More importantly, the pages it put out are very crisp and clean. Text looks darker and perhaps bolder than similarly priced lasers, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also print very small point size text perfectly. If mono printing is excellent, then its handling of colour documents is very good. Photographs appear a little darker than you might expect, but there is very little seepage between colours. Photos don’t look great on any laser printer, but colourful word documents look very sharp and professional.

Final verdict

Rounded corners and clean lines give the Ecosys P6230cdn a certain minimalist style and ignoring fancy features has allowed Kyocera to focus on the speed, capacity and consistency of its printing. At 30ppm, this machine is fast, and that’s not at the expense of print quality. Text looks surprisingly dark and bold for a laser printer, while colours are well separated. 

The deep 500-sheet in-tray is backed up by a 100-sheet multi-media tray and an out-box that you can just keep filling, which makes this printer ideal for big work groups in a busy SMB.

For a print-only device, that cannot handle A3 paper, the Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn has quite a footprint. It is heavy too and rather noisy when firing out colour documents. The cramped buttons and two-line display make it somewhat fiddly to select different paper types and you really have to peer into the LCD when the sun is reflecting on it. Colour photos look a little too dark and in terms of value for money, Kyocera toner cartridges are rather expensive. 

This basic, print-only model has few features, allowing it to score highly on speed and capacity. It also manages to print at a surprisingly high quality in both mono and colour with A4 documents always looking crisp, even when they’re being churned out at a rate of 30ppm.