Sharp AL-800 Review
The Sharp AL-800 personal copy machine is designed for home users who require hardware capable of making black and white duplications in their own home. This 8 copy per minute dinosaur is certainly not fit for any type of fast paced office environment, but for the user who simply requires the occasional copy of a form or receipt, this very inexpensive unit could potentially suit them nicely.
Before completely tearing this unit apart for its enormous size and literally complete lack of features, it is important to note that the unit does, in fact, do what it was made to do, and that function is simply making copies. Its paper storage capacities are acceptable and it warms up quick enough; it is not a complete piece of garbage.
The Sharp AL-800 can copy at a maximum speed of 8 copies per minute. This speed is only accurate when dealing with copies made from a single source, as the Sharp AL-800 is not equipped with an automatic document feeder. Instead, multiple pages of copies must be hand fed one at a time. The glass itself is of decent size, measuring in at 8.5 inches x 14 inches. This means that Legal sized paper can be used with the machine along with A4 and Letter sizes.
Copy resolution, as expected, tops out at only 600 x 600 dots per inch. While this print quality is not ideal, it is acceptable. Reduction and enlargement is even possible, to some degree, with the Sharp AL-800. Input material can be enlarged at ratios of up to 200% and reduced down to 50% of their original size.
Probably the most impressive thing about the Sharp AL-800 is that it originally came with a 3 year warranty as opposed to the more commonly seen 1 year warranty. Of course these warranties are no longer valid as the device can no longer be found new and it has certainly been longer than 3 years since one could have been, but the device at least deserves a nod for commendable coverage originally. The unit’s paper capacity is also entirely acceptable at 250 sheets.
Along with the very obvious limitations of this highly dated product, the Sharp AL-800 is just plain way too big. With a depth of almost 30 inches (29.6”), the unit is incredibly large. Its width of 18.2 inches and height of 9.1 inches don’t help with the problem either, and accounting for the room required to flip up the lid must be taken into account as well. Users of this product had better be good and sure that space is not a commodity.
This weak chunk of hardware can produce (get this) a recommended duty of only 200 to 500 pages per month. A duty cycle this low would be straight up laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. Lastly, the copy machine’s button system is sparse and slightly clumsy. Adjusting the number of copies is done by way of two buttons; one that adjusts from 1 to 9 and another that adjusts from 10 to 50. This type of silliness has been replaced more recently with simple keypads.