What We Think
The Ricoh Aficio SG 2100N printer is very functional and does exactly what it needs to, without getting in the way or being overly complicated, and it also has a very reasonable price, although the cost of ink cartridges severely lets it down.
The Ricoh Aficio SG 2100N is a cheap and cheerful, functional printer. Making use of Ricoh’s Geljet technology, ink bleeding is kept to a minimum by using a gel based ink, which, unlike other more conventional inks, won’t bleed into the porous material of cheaper office paper. This helps to keep both text and images looking crisp, even on lower grade paper.
The time taken to print is quite short, and drying times are practically instantaneous. However, this is balanced by the long start up time. The printer takes in ink from the cartridges in advance of printing, priming itself on start up. It takes a few minutes to do this, so it can be frustrating if you need to print in a hurry and it wasn’t already switched on.
Adding to the small business target audience however, the entire printer is very small and compact and will not take up much space, nor get in the way. On the other hand, it doesn’t handle a huge amount of paper at once, and also cannot print double sided, which, in a workplace, may be a significant restriction on certain projects.
Text printed by the Aficio 2100N is clear and crisp, and successfully avoids the bleeding that the Geljet ink is used to combat, even on cheap paper. The black ink isn’t as black as could be expected however, appearing more as a very dark grey, but it is more than adequate for everyday use.
Colour also prints out very well for a printer of this size and price. Printed on, again, cheap office paper, the colours are a bit muted and pastel, not as vibrant as more expensive, high tech printers, but again, for the cheap price it is far more than adequate for everyday use.
The best aspect of the printer is the price. Available for just £60, you get a printer that doesn’t do any major party tricks, and has no bells or whistles, but it IS very functional and compact. The price is reflected in the build quality, which is a bit plasticy and not very sturdy, but this is barely a problem for a printer, and once placed under a desk or on a shelf it won’t make any difference at all.
However, the biggest let down is the price of the ink cartridges. It takes the standard four (black, magenta, cyan, yellow), but each, at the time of writing, costs above the £20 mark. To replace all four, without any bulk deals, will cost more than the printer itself, which even comes with a free set. The inks are set to last for about 600 pages, so if you are after a long term printer, that will see plenty of sustained use, it might be wise to look elsewhere.
The Ricoh Aficio 2100N is a very functional printer that will serve any small office or home well. It prints to an adequate quality, but doesn’t have any fancy tricks, such as two sided printing or photocopying.