Sharp AL-1540 Review
This 3-in-1 multi-functional unit serves small businesses and home offices that have moderate printing needs. Even though the smaller, more compact size, means that consumables are replaced more often, this desktop unit remains a popular choice for many. The AL-1540 is a desktop copier that can handle copy and print jobs for less money, and takes up less space.
This model weighs in at just over 56 pounds, with dimensions of 20.4” x 18.8.” It’s too large to fit on a desk comfortably, but it is nicely suited for a shelf or credenza.
The AL-1540 uses a stationary platen design measuring 8 ½” x 14.” This allows the scanning to be done without increasing the unit’s footprint from its physical size, as a sliding platform would. The automatic document feeder (ADF) allows for up to 30 sheets of single sided originals (maximum size – legal.) More originals can be manually fed as the print job progresses. With 6 MB of memory, the unit is able to scan once and produce as much as 15 copies per minute, to a maximum of 99 copies.
The unit has three separate exposure modes and resolutions (auto, manual and photo.) The default or automatic mode is set to 600 x 300 dpi. The printer gives photo quality printouts at 600 x 600 dpi (256 grayscale.) The magnification levels range from 50% to 200% and can be increased in 1% increments, or by using one of the six preset options. The resolution for the scanner is 600 x 1200 dpi.
The control panel for the AL-1540 is user-friendly and options can be selected quickly and easily. Quantity, magnification, and exposure can all be selected, as well as the ‘toner save’ mode. There are also indicators to indicate a paper misfeed (jam,) and replacement indicators for the toner cartridge and drum. You will not be able to tell where the paper jam is exactly, so you’ll have to open up the unit and look for it yourself, which could take some time.
The paper tray can hold a maximum of 250 sheets of paper. The tray can be adjusted to fit the size of paper you need, from 8 ½” x 14” to a minimum of 3 ½” x 5 ½.” Envelopes with staples or any type of metal or plastic clasps or closures as this may cause damage to the unit.
When this model first arrived on the market, it was no doubt considered a top-of-the line unit. By today’s standards, however, many users consider too slow and cumbersome. With the rapid advancements in technology, there are much faster multi-functional models available.
There is only one paper tray, which can make printing different sized sheets a bit cumbersome. If you constantly find yourself needed legal, then letter sized paper, you may get frustrated with the process. It is much better to have two dedicated trays – one for letter sized paper, and one for legal sized paper.
Larger print and copy jobs will take longer with this unit. The 15 page per minute copy speed and 12 page per print speed is considered slow in today’s fast moving world. Newer models are available that can print more than 20 pages per minute. If you do a large amount of printing and copying, you may feel that you are spending more time looking after the printer than actually doing your job.
The 250 page capacity paper tray is undersized for an office copier. Many businesses find that they can go through 500 pages in a single day. Most companies buy their paper in 500 sheet packages, and some even buy in bulk of cases that contain 10 500-sheet reams. It is convenient and time-saving to be able to dump an entire package of paper into the tray all at once, without having to worry about dividing it and storing the remainder. This can be even more of a challenge where space is an issue.