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I can still remember the days of the fax machine, where the paper was on a roll, it was thermal paper, how many times were the copies left in direct sunlight or near a heat source only to result in black paper. How slowly the faxes came through, yet still it was thought of as amazing. I am glad those days are now well and truly gone.
Our work machine is made by Panasonic, called the Panafax UF 895 Laser Fax Machine. Oh how the times they are a changing. This machine has a very simple operation, stick up to 500 sheets of A4 paper in the drawer that pulls out at the front, and away you go (well apart from plug it into the mains and connect it to a suitable phone line). This is very important as on a typical day we receive upwards of 200 faxes and it would be a pain to have to keep loading the machine every five minutes. This can be upgraded so the machine is able to have 1,250 sheets of paper, in all honesty 500 is more than enough.
Even on those odd occasions where we have not reloaded the machine, it has a great memory that will hold up to 120 sheets, if that is not enough it can be upgraded with memory cards, but in all truth, I cannot see the point. If the office/work location is going to be unmanned, then as long as the paper tray is full, you have the capacity to receive 620 sheets before the memory gets full. But if you want to upgrade then the memory alone can be expanded to hold 700 sheets if you add 1,250 in the expanded paper tray, then that is 1,950 sheets, that is half a forest.
Another great plus for this machine is it has an all in one print cartridge (includes toner. developer and drum) and is supposed to print up to 10,000 sheets before it needs replacing, considering the volume that our machine handles week after week, we do not have to change the cartridge very often so with that in mind the 10,000 sheet claim is very believable. When this runs out a little red led lights up, then it is a simple matter of opening the side door, pulling the old one out and popping the new one in.
On the top is the feed tray for either sending faxes or copying, you can place up to 50 A4 sheets here at one time face down, they feed automatically so no need to feed each sheet one at a time.
The quality, now at first I had to think what to say, well on receiving faxes the quality depends on the machine sending the transmission, if that makes sense. It is easier to say that a copy made using the machine is as good as the original document, I can see them both together. The technical stuff says it has a scanning resolution equivalent of 400 dpi (whatever that means).
This machine outputs at the rate of up to 10 sheets per minute, but in all honesty I would not use it as a copier, it is much better to have a dedicated copier and leave this to do what it does best, send and receive faxes. Having said that we do copy on it, normally if it is a fax that is needed by more than one person.
The tope of the machine has 40 programmable keys for one touch dialling, you can add 160 abbreviated numbers giving you a grand total of 200 stored numbers, we only tend to use the one touch keys. You have so many choices with the navigation buttons, fine super fine etc.
On a day to day basis this machine has been very reliable for us, I have been trying to think and have failed to think of a time it has let us down, obviously with a large volume per day reliability has to be our main concern.
During quiet times the LCD display tells you the machine is in sleep mode, this does not happen too often at work, but at least you know when this happens it is doing its bit to save money on your energy bill. For those interested when in sleep mode it does not snore.
So far everything that I have said about this machine has been positive, but not all. On the left hand side of the machine are two trays; the lower one collects the faxes or copies. The upper one collects the original documents that you have put into the machine. I find these are a little too close together and are made of a brittle plastic. Two small tabs on the trays fit into two holes on the side of the machine, so it is easy to knock the upper tray when removing faxes, the end result for us is the tabs on the upper tray have now broke.
As this is meant to be a review, I will not insult or bore any of you with all the in depth technical jargon, but for those of you who really are interested then the following link will take you to a 194 page user guide. http://www.best4systems.co.uk/_design/best4systems/_pdf/faxes/panasonic/Panasonic_UF885_UF895_UG.pdf
For a reasonably large office, this machine is as efficient as you will need at a retail price of around £1,000 it represents reasonable value for money.