Sharp AL-1340 Review
The AL-1340 was discontinued in 2003. However, consumables such as image drums and toner cartridges are still readily available for this unit, as are various replacement parts. This multi-functional unit is suitable for small businesses and home offices where printing needs are not overly excessive.
The AL-1340 weighs 50 pounds, with dimensions of 20.4” x 18.8.” This makes it a bit large to sit on a desk, but will fit perfectly on a shelf or credenza.
A stationary platen design is used, as opposed to the sliding platform, in order to keep its physical size the same (no extra space needed.) There is an automatic document feeder that is capable of up to 30 single sized originals, to a maximum size of 8 ½” by 14” (legal sized paper.) More original sheets can be manually fed into the machine as the levels drop. Using the 6 MB of internal memory, it can scan the original one time, and print at a rate of 14 pages per minute, up to a maximum of 99.
The AL-1340 has three different exposure modes and resolutions (manual, photo and auto.) The auto (which is the default) resolution is 600 x 300 dpi. The photo mode produces high quality printouts at 600 x 600 dpi. The magnification can be switched from 25% to 200% in 1% increments or 6 preset jumps.
The control panel on the unit is user-friendly and you won’t have to pull out the manual each time you want to print or copy. Users can choose the magnification level, quantity, and exposure. There are indicators that warn of low toner cartridge and paper jams. Users are also notified of replacement part issues. The exact location of the paper jam is not indicated, so you’ll have to figure that out on your own.
There is one paper tray that can hold up to 250 sheets of paper. The maximum size is 8 ½” x 14”, with the minimum being 3 ½” x 5 ½.”
The unit is compatible with an IBM or compatible computer; compatible operating systems include Windows 3.1x, 95, ME, NT 4.0 and 2000.
When this model was first released, it was considered one of the best on the market; by today’s standards, however, some may consider it slow and cumbersome. There are no options to expand the internal memory or paper capacity.
The printing speed of 12 pages and copy speed of 14 pages per minute are extremely slow compared to newer models on the market. It’s typical for new units to print 20 pages per minute, and some can do even more.
There is no fax or scan feature with this unit, making it necessary to have separate machines for these functions. This can take up valuable space; in a home office and small business setting, space is something that is usually very limited.
There is only one paper try with the AL-1340. If you need to switch between letter and legal sized papers, it will have to be done manually. This is time consuming, especially if you need to switch often. You’ll have to keep both sizes on-hand somewhere; again, space is usually limited and this can be a challenge.
The paper tray only holds a maximum of 250 sheets. This may not be enough for office copy use. Even small businesses can go through more than 500 sheets in one day. Many companies buy their paper in 500 sheet packages, and it is much more convenient to be able to dump the entire ram of paper into the tray.
This unit may be better suited for home office use, where printing needs are generally lower. Very small businesses with less than 10 employees may also find the AL-1340 a suitable model, depending on the type of business and what their printing needs are. As a business or home office upgrades their technology and computer systems, this unit may be outdated completely.