Sharp AR-M205 Review
With plenty of optional hardware upgrades and a solid base set of features, the Sharp AR-M205 is an all around performer when it comes to desktop copy machines. Its slow overall speed prevents it from being a top of the line unit, but a versatile arrangement of print, copy, and other optional features make it a worthwhile addition to the small office.
32 MBs of memory are included in the Sharp AR-M205 base unit, but its 304 MB maximum memory capacity shows how upgradable this unit was designed to be. Paper storage can also be expanded from its already solid 600 sheets of space to 1,100 sheets.
Up to two additional 250 sheet paper trays can be added to the two that are already included with the package. A 100 sheet manual bypass tray is also present in the machine and is the perfect way to load and print to special media types, such as transparencies and card stock, without unloading the standard Letter or Legal sized paper supply.
Print resolution tops out at only 600 x 600 dots per inch, and the Sharp AR-M205 is only capable of printing in black and white, but while photo quality color imagery is obviously not an option when it comes to this device, respectable quality text documents can be processed effectively with the unit, regardless of it is via printing, copying, or otherwise.
Scanning is made possible by a flat head full color scanning system that utilizes either a platen document glass or document feeder to gather information from input material. The included cold cathode lamp is built to last the lifetime of the unit and its basic optical scan resolution tops out at a semi respectable 600 x 1200 dot per inch quality. Up to 9600 dots per inch are attainable when using interpolated scanning. “Scan to” features, such as scan to e mail, can be activated by 6 dedicated, individual dedicated destination buttons.
While an automatic document feeder is included in the initial setup of the Sharp AR-M205, one of the multiple hardware additional options is a reversing automatic feeder. With a reversing feeder, the unit can scan or copy both sides of pieces of input material without them having to be manually flipped. The reversing unit also scans both sides at once, allowing for single pass duplex scanning. Another optional addition is a 100 page electronic paper sorter that makes managing multiple jobs at once easy.
The Sharp AR-M205’s 20 page per minute print and copy speed is slow by today’s standards, and yet refurbished M205s are still on the market for what seems like top dollar. If raw performance speed is a priority, there is no question that you should look at the current lineup of newer models that deliver a better speed to price ratio, both from Samsung and other brands.
Other copy speeds include 12 copies per minute when dealing with legal sized paper, a considerable drop in performance, and 10 copies per minute for 11 x 17 inch Ledger sized paper, which is actually more or less acceptable.