Sharp AL-1651CS Review
This model was discontinued in 2005, but many small offices may still find that it suits their printer and copying needs. If it has been maintained on a regular basis, and taken care of, it could last for several more years. While there are newer models on the market that have much more capabilities, the AL-1651CS makes a good choice for home offices or offices of 10 people or less.
This compact model weighs in at about 51 pounds, with dimensions of 19.3” x 15.” While it’s much smaller than large, bulky models meant for larger offices, this is still a bit too big to fit on an average sized desk. It will be fine on a table or shelf, though.
The scanner portion uses a stationary 8.5” x 14” platen design. There is an automatic document feeder that allows for up to 30 single-sided originals. More sheets can be fed in as the level drops. The scanner works by storing the original image into its 10 MG of memory, allowing the AL-1651CS to produce copies at a rate of 16 pages per minute, with a 99 copy capacity.
The AL-1651CS has three separate resolutions and exposure modes (auto, manual, and photo.) The default or manual resolution is 600 x 300 dpi. For photo quality printouts, you’ll want the 600 x 600 dpi. The magnification can be changed from 25% to 400%.
The minimum system requirements for the AL-1651CS are: IBM PC or compatible that is equipped with a LAN/Ethernet or USB 2.0 network interface. It is compatible with several Windows platforms including 95/98/ME/XP and NT 4.0.
Other features of the AL-1651 include an automatic document feeder, reverse ADF, offset stacking to separate sets of papers or projects, and full duplex copying capability.
The control panel on the unit is fairly straight forward, with indicators for paper jams, and low toner warnings. You won’t need to pull out the manual each time you want to print, scan or copy. You can easily indicate the quantity you need, the size of paper, and which paper tray you want to use, in addition to magnification and exposure.
The paper tray can hold up to 250 sheets of either legal sized paper (8 ½” x 14”) or standard sized paper (8 ½ “x 11”.) Non-standard sizes, like envelopes can also be placed in the tray, one at a time on the scanning portion, or up to 50 sheets on the multi-purpose tray.
With a multi-function unit, you can save space, as well as money, which is an important factor in today’s world, especially for small business owners, and those who have a home office. Unlike a large corporate company, whole rooms cannot be set aside for large machines that each performs a separate function.
Even though the AL-1651CS is a discontinued model, there are replacement parts, toners and drums that are still readily available for purchase.
Even small offices can have large printing needs, and the 16 page-per-minute isn’t up to par anymore. There are newer models that are much faster, and it’s not unheard of to print 20 pages-per-minute.
The paper tray’s capacity for 250 sheets is considered undersized, compared to newer models. A typical small office can go through more than 500 sheets per day, and it can be cumbersome to keep refilling the tray. Many offices buy their paper in 500 sheet reams, and still others buy a case of 10 reams. Having a tray that you can dump the entire ream on is a convenience that many would be willing to spend a few extra dollars for.
The Sharp AL-1651CS was made for ease of use and compactness. There are no options to upgrade the memory or add networking features.
Many multi-function models that are sold today include a fax option. While the need for faxing documents may have declined over the years, due to new technology, it is still a valuable feature to have.