Sharp AR-M237 Review
With an enormous 100 page reversing automatic document feeder and hardware options such as a 1,000 sheet finisher, the Sharp AR-M237 is designed to deal in bulk, yet this multifunctional document processing system comes in a small enough package for an office of limited size.
Unlike some multifunctional machines, the Sharp AR-M237 is old enough to come with a fax modem as a standard feature, along with a full range of fax features. The Super G3 33.6 Kbps transmission speed makes for 3 second faxes, both incoming and outgoing.
The unit’s warm up time of 23 seconds is remarkable, as is its first copy out time of only 4.8 seconds. Furthermore, though not at these speeds, the device is capable of printing to and copying Ledger sized 11 x 17 inch paper. Using large format paper is a must for many businesses such as law offices and construction companies.
On top of basic printing, copying, scanning, and faxing, the Sharp AR-M237 is capable of several network functions that include printing and scanning. Networking is optional and users will have to shell out some extra dough for the internal Ethernet card, but with network printing activated, the device can cater to an entire office’s print needs at once, thus replacing the need for a separate laser printer.
As mentioned earlier, the Sharp AR-M237’s automatic document feeder is of outstanding proportions, but there is even more good news. This enormous 100 page feeder is equipped with single pass reversing, meaning that it can scan two sides of a piece of paper at the same time. Double sided input will take no longer to scan or enter into fax memory than single sided material, and duplex copies will only be limited in speed by duplex printing.
Paper supply comes in abundance thanks to two standard 500 sheet trays that are accompanied by a 100 sheet manual bypass tray. This additional small tray can be used for a multitude of special media types that can be manually selected and printed or copied to without the need to unload standard paper drawers. Paper storage can be boosted greatly with a single additional 500 sheet feed unit and/or a 1,000 sheet (500 x 2) paper feed unit. Paper thicknesses up to 21 lbs can be used in the standard trays; anything larger should be reserved for the bypass tray.
Compared to other multifunctional devices in the same category as the Sharp AR-M237, both from Sharp and from other brand names, this printer’s 23 page per minute print and copy speeds are atrocious. No self respecting small office would consider purchasing a device that is currently so far behind the times in this performance category unless overall print speed was truly of no concern.
The Sharp AR-M237’s total memory is highly questionable in size. With only 48 MB available, compared to the absolute minimum seen on copy machines today which is 512 MB, this unit falls severely behind. Up to a gigabyte of memory can be incorporated into the machine’s memory, but additional memory is costly and this printer is costly enough already considering some of its limitations.