Xerox Phaser 6180DN full review

The Xerox Phaser 6180DN is a colour laser printer made for small to mid-sized businesses.

The Xerox Phaser 6180DN's fast print speeds, crisp, clean prints, and user friendliness are among the many qualities that should make it popular in the office. Additionally, the Xerox Phaser 6180DN features 10/100BaseTX ethernet networking capability, automatic duplexing, and Adobe PostScript 3 compatibility.

Overall, the Xerox Phaser 6180DN offers an impressive, valuable package at a modest price.


Setting up the Xerox Phaser 6180DN is easy, but at a hefty 28kg, the printer requires at least two people to unpack safely. Xerox includes an instruction manual with illustrations and clearly written directions that should make setting up this printer a smooth process; you can also watch an installation video included with the software CD.

The Xerox Phaser 6180DN's box-shaped design is a little bulky, but at 470mm, it's just short enough to fit under the shelf of a typical cubicle desk.

The included software is well designed and user-friendly. The Xerox Phaser 6180DN's driver includes a virtual ruler for you to adjust brightness of your prints, which can help save you some ink when printing draft documents.

Using CentreWare IS, the Xerox Phaser 6180DN's network utility, a user with administrative access can manage the printer from any computer connected to the network. For example, you can set the printer to alert a specified list of users to receive email alerts whenever the Xerox Phaser 6180DN is out of paper or low on toner.


With PostScript compatibility and 128MB of RAM (expandable to up to 1GB), the Xerox Phaser 6180DN's print speeds were comparable with a much more expensive model. In our testing over ethernet, the Xerox Phaser 6180DN was very fast when printing text documents, taking only 14 seconds for a one-page Word document and 34 seconds for a 10-page Word document. The printer also turned in speedy results when printing a four-page color PDF test document, taking only 42 seconds. The printer's speed when printing a 22MB Photoshop image, however, was the least impressive - taking 2 minutes and 3 seconds.


The Xerox Phaser 6180DN's print resolution is 600x600x4dpi; that last number means that each pixel uses an additional 4 bits for colour identification.

According to Xerox, this technology allows the printer to produce colour documents or photos that look more pleasing to the eye than some other laser printers that print at a 2,400dpi resolution. However, our panel of experts gave the Xerox Phaser 6180DN's image quality only a Good rating: some of the colours looked dull, reds were too light and shadow detail was lacking.

The printer earned another Good rating in the graphics, fine lines and gradients test: curved lines appeared jagged and gradients weren't very smooth. The printer performed very well, however, when printing text. Fonts appeared crisp, clear, and smooth, even with very small text. Our jury gave the printer's text quality a Superior rating.

How we tested: we ran all the tests with the laser printer connected via 10/100Base-TX ethernet to a 2.66GHz Mac Pro, with Mac OS X 10.4.8 installed and with 1GB of RAM. We recorded the time it took the printer to print a one-page Word document and a 10-page Word document, as well as the time it took to print a 22MB Photoshop image and a four-page PDF.

A panel of experts examined samples of the printer's output to rate its print quality as either Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor in comparison to the output of past photo printers we've tested.


Xerox Phaser 6180DN: Specs

  • Maximum duty cycle of 60,000 pages per month
  • colour: up to 20ppm, black: up to 25ppm
  • first-page-out time of as fast as 10 seconds in colour
  • up to 600x600x4dpi resolution
  • 400MHz processor
  • maximum paper size: 216x356mm
  • network connectivity standard on all models
  • True Adobe PostScript 3 standard
  • USB 2.0
  • 28.3kg
  • 400x493x470mm
  • 1-year onsite warranty