Sharp AR-168D / AR-168S Review
The Sharp AR-168D / AR-168S models utilize PCL6 emulation and a versatile arrangement of hardware to ensure that copies, prints, and optional fax jobs are completed quickly and efficiently. This extensive document processing setup is perfect for those who require stand alone copy capabilities right on their own desktop.
Optional hardware additions to the already fairly extensive Sharp AR-168D / AR-168S include a Super G3 fax modem that can execute 33.6 Kbps transmission speeds that result in fax speeds of about 3 seconds per page or faster. Those who wish to save a little coin on their purchase can go with a fax free model.
Other hardware options include a built in duplexor that is included in the Sharp AR-168D package but not the Sharp AR-168S. With built in duplexing, users can print automatically to both sides of a piece of paper without user intervention. This results in reduction of paper costs by as much as half, plus more accurate reproductions of two sided material.
The duplxed ready Sharp AR-168D also includes an incredibly handy feature that is called reversing. With a built in reversing automatic document feeder, incoming scans can be processed on both sides of the page, making this model capable of producing two sided copies from two sided material with no additional user interactions. The Sharp AR-168S only comes with a standard automatic document feeder, though both ADFs have a 30 page capacity. (Output tray capacity is 200 sheets.)
PC scanning is operational with any of the Sharp AR-168D / AR-168S hardware options and printing can also be done right out of the box at a maximum resolution of 600 dots per inch. While printing, as well as copying, is restricted to black and white, scans can be done in color.
Paper storage consists of a standard 250 sheet tray that is expandable with one and only one additional 250 sheet tray. A 50 sheet manual bypass tray is also included in box and allows the device to not only make use of special media types such as custom stationary and card stock, but to do so without unloading the device’s standard paper supply of Letter or Legal sized paper.
32 MBs of shared memory keeps copy and print processes moving along at respectable speeds and provides room for page storage if the fax hardware is included in the device. Other features that become active with a modem installed include speed dial and phone number storage. The fax package also includes an additional 2 MBs of memory so the initial 32 is not infracted upon.
While refurbished Sharp AR-168D / AR-168S units can be found for around a thousand dollars or less, this is still much too high a price for a machine that can only produce 16 pages per minute at top speed. When shelling out four figures for a multifunctional unit, it is much wiser to go with a brand new unit due to recent advances in laser copy technology that has brought down prices significantly, especially if dealing with color printing/copying.