SAN FRANCISCO (06/23/2000) - The compact Minolta Corp.-QMS PagePro 1100L delivers satisfactory laser printing for just US$249. It's one of the first printers for small businesses Minolta has released since buying competitor QMS.
While the monochrome 1100L isn't supersonic, a shipping unit generated a decent 8.6 pages of text a minute in PC World lab tests. Other advantages as an ink jet alternative: It delivers completed pages face down (in printed order), its laser-processed images are less subject to smearing, and it is smaller than most laser printers, at 10 by 14 by 9 inches. Another plus: Like most laser printers, the 1100L is relatively quiet.
The PagePro 1100L hardly measures up to laser printers aimed at large-office use. It has a nonexpandable 4MB of RAM, it requires Windows, it holds only 150 sheets of paper without the optional add-on paper tray, and it's not designed to pump out large volumes of printed material continuously. When outputting gray-scale graphics, the printer slowed to 4.7 ppm. I also was surprised to discover that the PagePro uses an ECP parallel interface, rather than the faster USB connector that's rapidly becoming standard for peripherals.
(Minolta's more versatile, networked PagePro 1100 costs $349.)Still, the PagePro 1100L is worth considering, especially when budget is a factor.
--Alan S. Kay
PRO: Fairly sharp prints, decent speed, small footprint.
CON: Monochrome only, Windows only, parallel port only.
VALUE: Affordable price.
List price: $249
This product has been evalu-ated using tests designed by the PC World Test Center.