Sharp AR-M355U / AR-M355N Review
The Sharp AR-M355U / AR-M355N large format document processing system is considerably small for how well it performs. This 35 page per minute powerhouse is perfect for Ledger sized printing and copying, as well as scanning, faxing, and a variety of other functions.
With Ledger sized compatibility, the Sharp AR-M355U / AR-M355N is ready to print and copy to sizes up to 11 inches by 17 inches. Letter and Legal sized paper are, of course, compatible as well, along with a variety of special media types such as transparencies and custom letterhead.
Both print and copy speeds top out at 35 pages per minute which is a welcome performance specification in a market where similar machines can fail drastically in this area. If even more speed is required, Sharp offers a variation on this model, the Sharp AR-M455 series, that boosts performance speed up to 45 pages per minute for a marginal increase in overhead price.
Copies can be made in quantities of up to 999 at one time, and the machine’s first copy out time is very impressive indeed at just less than 5 seconds. When using the document glass this time is stretched to 6 seconds, but this is certainly no deal breaker as this speed is still incredibly fast. (Buyers of the AR-M455 will also experience quicker first page out times.)
Magnification can be achieved when making stand alone copies in increments of 1% between the range of 25% reduction and 400% enlargement. When using reduction, 2 in 1 and 4 in 1 copies can be made, meaning multiple pages of input can be shrunk and squeezed onto a single page.
The document feeder found atop the Sharp AR-M355U / AR-M355N is truly outstanding in a way not commonly seen. Instead of operating as a reversing or simplex ADF, the feeder is actually a single pass duplex piece of hardware that can scan both sides of a piece of input paper at one time, so double sided scans will take the same amount of time as single sided ones to process. The feeder also holds an extensive 50 sheets of paper at once, making large scan, copy, or fax projects easy to manage and almost hands free.
The scan functions of the unit are respectable. Single sided scans can be processed at a rate of 45 per minute, though higher resolution scans and interpolated scans will take considerably longer to run through the machine. Taking advantage of the DADF will always increase speeds over using the document glass.
While an elongated warm up time is to expected from a medium sized device such as the Sharp AR-M355U / AR-M355N, its 80 seconds till warm time is a little extensive. In fact, most of the downsides to this device are small, nitpicky elements such as this. The scan resolution, for example, is only 600 x 600 dots per inch, even though the unit’s copy output is 1200 dpi. For the most part, the machine is pleasantly well rounded, as well as fairly easy to operate, making it a great buy for almost any office.