Sharp FO-4450 Review
Shaped like a flatbed multifunctional unit but without a built in document glass, the Sharp FO-4450 takes on an interesting shape for a fax machine, and includes an assortment of professional level facsimile tools as well as a full miniature QWERTY keyboard.
While the Sharp FO-4450 does not include a touch screen as many newer fax machine models do, its dedicated set of controls is more than sufficient thanks to its 2 line LCD screen and adjustable angle on its display. This device has as many dedicated buttons as a full sized copy machine and, with a small QWERTY keyboard included, the unit is highly functional as a stand alone unit with no host PC necessary for operation.
As most fax machines are, the Sharp FO-4450 is powered by a Super G3 33.6 Kbps modem that brings the device’s transmission time down to a comfortable 3 seconds. Its additional time saving features include a 1.3 second quick scan option that allows users to scan outgoing fax data at a faster rate than the unit can transmit it. This allows users to complete the interactive portion of a fax transmission and walk away quicker than usual; leaving the machine to do the rest of the work on its own.
The unit’s 8 MBs of flash memory is fairly limited in terms of a multifunctional device, but it allows the Sharp FO-4450 to store up to 500 pages worth of data internally, which is about as much as any unit on the market. (Internal memory is also upgradable to 16 MBs which brings the storage amount to 1,000 pages.)
The Sharp FO-4450’s 16 page per minute print speed is slow by printing standards but, as a fax machine, 16 pages per minute is really all anyone could need considering that that is about as fast as faxes can be transmitted anyway. The unit does function as a copier as well, but this is more of a secondary function that wouldn’t be worth shelling out extra cash for to improve copy speeds.
Paper capacity rests at a comfortable 250 sheets and is expandable to 750 sheets with an additional tray, while the built in automatic document feeder holds a solid 50 sheets of material.
The Sharp FO-4450 is certainly a proficient machine when it comes to faxing and even copying to some degree, but Sharp has forgone the usual additional multifunctionality seen in modern fax machines that allow them to triple and quadruple as printers and scanners. Without solid PC integration, the hardware is basically limited to stand alone operation, which is only ideal for a small number of businesses.
Another element to the Sharp FO-4450’s setup that is at least fairly strange if not a downside is its half duplexing capabilities. While many machines on the market have the ability to duplex print but not scan, this machine is capable of the opposite. It, oddly, can scan both sides of material for transmission but can only automatically print to a single side of output material. As stated, this is not necessarily a major drawback, but it is at least notably obscure.