Ricoh SP 150SUw review

Ricoh tends to focus on the business market these days, producing high performance laser printers for office use. However, its new SP 150 range is a little more modest, and is aimed at home or small business users who simply need a fast, high-quality laser printer for black-and-white documents. See also: Best printers to buy

Also see: Best Black Friday Printer Deals

Ricoh SP 150SUw review: Price

There are several models in the range, starting at just £74 for a single-function USB printer, but we reviewed the multifunction SP 150SUw, which also includes scanner and copier features as well as wireless connectivity. You can buy the SP 150SUw from Argos for £129.99. You can’t buy direct from Ricoh, and as it's quite a new model, toner cartridges aren't all that common yet, which means prices are quite high - see below for more.

Ricoh SP 150SUw review: Design

The SP 150SUw makes a good first impression, despite Ricoh’s relative lack of experience in the consumer market. It’s very compact, measuring just 350mm wide, 275mm deep and 137mm high, so it’ll fit easily onto a desk or shelf without taking up too much space. The 50-sheet paper input tray is fairly small, but should be fine for home use or a small office. The only minor drawback here is that it doesn’t have an output tray – it simply spits your pages out through a slot in the front of the printer, which means that you’ll still need an extra bit of desk or shelf space to stop the paper landing on the floor.

Ricoh SP 150SUw review

Installation is very straightforward, as the single black toner cartridge is already in place inside the printer, and there are drivers supplied on a disc for Windows, Mac and Linux. Ricoh also includes a handy Control Panel app that provides quick and easy access to the main settings for printing, copying and scanning, and there are apps for Android and iOS devices available as well.

Ricoh SP 150SUw review: Performance

Print quality is very good – as you’d expect from a laser printer – with its 600dpi resolution producing smooth, finely detailed text. But it’s the speed of the SP 150SUw that gives it an edge over an ordinary inkjet printer. In our tests with a number of Word and PDF documents, the SP 150SUw quietly and quickly turned out 20 pages per minute – only slightly below Ricoh’s quoted speed of 22ppm. That’s well beyond the speed of most inkjet printers in this price range, so the SP 150SUw will earn its keep if you regularly need to print text documents.

The printing and copier functions are black-and-white only, but the 1200dpi scanner can scan in colour, so you do have the option of scanning photos and other colour documents that you can email to other people, or edit on your PC or Mac.

Ricoh SP 150SUw review

Ricoh SP 150SUw review: Running costs

The only snag is Ricoh's crazy pricing for toner. The SP 150SUw comes with a standard-size toner cartridge that should last for around 700 pages, and Ricoh points out that its cartridges don’t require a separate drum mechanism that needs to be replaced every few years (as is the case with some laser printers). Replacements are £65.16 for the standard-capacity toner, or £91.39 for a high-yield cartridge that provides 1500 pages.

Those prices work out at a quite exorbitant 9.3p per page for the standard cartridge and 6p for the high-yield cartridge. The good news is that you can find the cartridges at lower prices online if you hunt around – around £35 and £50 respectively – which brings prices down to 5p and 3.3p respectively, but it’s only that latter option with the high-yield cartridges that makes the running costs low enough to recommend.

Ricoh SP 150SUw: Specs

  • A4 mono multi-function laser printer with 600dpi resolution
  • 600dpi copier and 1200dpi colour scanner
  • Paper input tray – 50 sheets A4
  • Paper output tray – N/A
  • Dimensions - 350 x 275 x 137 mm
  • Weight – 7.5kg
  • A4 mono multi-function laser printer with 600dpi resolution
  • 600dpi copier and 1200dpi colour scanner
  • Paper input tray – 50 sheets A4
  • Paper output tray – N/A
  • Dimensions - 350 x 275 x 137 mm
  • Weight – 7.5kg

OUR VERDICT

The SP 150SUw is a neatly designed compact multi-function laser printer that provides very good performance and quality for homes or small offices that only require straightforward black and white printing. The initial purchase price is certainly competitive for such a fast printer, but toner is expensive if you pay Richoh's recommended prices. Fortunately, you can find discounts on the high-yield cartridges if you look around online.