Installation Hassles Abound

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

The Konica Minolta MagiColor 2590MF brings excellent output and a plethora of capabilities to the SMB market, despite its quirks and irritations.




Konica Minolta promptly delivered another unit for testing via a courier service; it was obvious that the new unit had been previously unpacked and configured before being shipped out. While that may have sped up the review process and made things a little easier for our Lab's crew, it did deny us the experience that a VAR may have with a new unit.

That said, the replacement unit functioned fine and operated without a hitch. That is, until we installed the duplexer unit. The duplexer snaps onto the back of the printer, after popping out a few plastic tabs/port covers. Regrettably, our duplexer came with no instructions and the printer instructions lacked any guidance on installing the duplexer. A search of the tech support area of the Web site offered no clues on how to install the duplexer. We pushed on and installed the duplexing unit using common sense, and we were rewarded with a horrible grinding noise when we tried to print.

Further investigation showed that a piece of tape, which is the same color as the unit, covers a paper feed slot on the back of the 2590MF. Removing the tape and reinstalling the duplexer solved all of our problems. Perhaps Konica Minolta should consider making that piece of tape a color that does not blend in with the back of the printer or add some text to the tape that says "remove for duplexer", or at the very least, make instructions readily available.

Installers will encounter other setup hassles, complicated by the fact that the unit's LCD interface and push buttons are very inconsistent. For example, when setting up the 2590MF's IP address, an installer would use the cancel button to clear out any existing settings and then the arrow keys to input new parameters. If the installer tries to use the same procedure for setting the time and date, the menu will exit.

Date and time are set using the numeric key pad instead. Those inconsistencies live throughout the setup interface and prove to be an annoyance. It's clear that the machine is destined for a global market; installation docs are included in several languages and regrettably all are lacking the details to quickly set up and operate the unit.

For typical use, the unit is easy to operate, but once you attempt to do something out of the ordinary, the interface proves to be annoying. For example, if you want to do a duplex copy, you need to hit a function button several times. Wouldn't a "duplex" copy button make much more sense? The same goes for selecting document types; a user is expected to use the quality button to determine that -- not very intuitive.

Setup and usage hassles aside, the unit did offer impressive color output. We used the SpencerLabs printing suite to test image quality and found that the unit recreated details and colors on par with a much more expensive color laser printer. Scanning and photo copying also offered excellent detail and color. Black and white text output was crisp and clear, while printed photographs offered faithful color reproduction.

The bottom line here is if you can deal with the quirks, inconsistencies and irritations associated with installation, set up and advanced feature use, you will not be disappointed with the unit. And happily, pros outweigh the cons, and all of the cons should be easy fixes for Konica Minolta to accomplish.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com