Sharp AL-2040CS Review
Offering a marginally acceptable set of print, copy, and scan features across the board, the Sharp AL-2040CS fails to significantly impress in any particular way, but remains a capable 3 in 1 device aimed at the individual, desktop user.
The Sharp AL-2040CS’s weight of 45 pounds, coupled with its footprint of 25.4. x 17.5 inches (W x D) place it in the slightly large category when it comes to desktop multifunctional units, but it is still a small office friendly unit and is certainly best suited for an individual user.
The unit comes complete with a full sized 8.5 x 11 inch platen document glass that makes scanning Legal sized paper possible. The glass is also supplemented by a rather large 50 page automatic document feeder that takes the pain out of loading a large stack of input material into the machine for scanning or copying. Continuous copies of more than 50 pieces of input material can be made by loading them in as the stack grows smaller while being rifled through the machine. Continuous copies from a single piece of input material can also be made in amounts of up to 99 at one time.
16 MBs of memory are included in the Sharp AL-2040CS, along with built in Ethernet support. With networking ready to go out of the box, the printer/copier is considerably easy to set up and share across a small office. Unfortunately, the unit’s poor performance specifications make it a less than ideal choice for a shared 3 in 1 unit, but it could be a great addition to a household or very small business.
Exposure modes are selectable between automatic, manual, and photo. The photo exposure mode only implies that the resolution itself of each scan or copy will be set to the unit’s maximum of 600 x 600 dot per inch, while auto mode relies on the faster, lower quality 300 x 600 dot per inch res. Manual exposure can be used to adjust darkness of output material and, resultantly, to reduce toner usage.
With duplex print capabilities built in to the Sharp AL-2040CS, double sided output can be produced without user intervention. While the automatic document feeder can only scan in single sides of input material, copies and printed pages can be two sided and therefore much more waste efficient.
There are no surprises when it comes to paper storage in this unit. It is equipped with the common 250/50 setup that includes a 250 sheet standard paper tray that can be expanded with and additional 250 sheet tray, and a 50 sheet bypass tray that is compatible with various special media types.
The Sharp AL-2040CS’s print and copy speeds are a couple of the units biggest red flags that alert users to the device’s ever increasing age. While the unit’s 20 page per minute copy speed is arguably acceptable for a single user, 16 pages per minute of print speed at a low quality setting is just plain behind the times and would cause frustration under any heavy volume print circumstance.