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XEROX WorkCentre 390 Multifunction system

The Drive
  • 10PPM Laser Printing at 600x600dpi
  • Holds up to 150 sheets in its paper tray
  • 300x300dpi color scanner
  • 10PPM Copier function with up to 4800dpi of resolution (interloaped)
  • 6 seconds scanning function
  • 6 seconds faxing function
  • 80 Speed dials for the fax
  • 2MB of memory
  • USB Interface


(+,-) $450USD

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Xerox has been in the document business for more time that we can remember. Their business strategy is simple: provide solutions that simplify your work and make it more productive. A few years ago, Xerox decided to focus in manufacturing quality equipment for the home and small businesses. Their contribution in this arena includes their Multifunction Systems, which provide high quality printing, copying, scanning and faxing compabilities all in one machine.

Combining all of these features in a single machine will result in saving a reasonable amount of money over buying stand-alone equipment doing the same or similar functions. In this review, we look at Xerox’s brand new WorkCentre 390 Multifunction System. It’s an improved version of its previous 385 brother, featuring an USB interface and an improved control panel.

Technical View

The WorkCentre 390 features 10-PPM laser printing with resolution up to 600x600dpi, the output quality was good: pictures where sharp and clear. It ended being good enough to replace our HP laserjet 1100 in the office. It can hold up to 150 sheets in its paper tray, printing onto diverse stocks including card stock, envelopes and labels. From our text print test, the 390 finished with some descent results, it averaged at 8-PPM for text output and at 7.4-PPM for text combined with graphics.

The included color scanner features 300x300dpi scanning, averaged at 6 seconds per page. The unit is TWAIN compatible for windows based machines. After testing out the scanning features, I must say that 6 seconds per page is virtually impossible, even for a simple text scan. Scanning a text page took 36 seconds and over 4 minutes for a color flyer. The tests were done on 256MB-based machine using the USB interface of the WorkCentre. Even there, we could consider these numbers reasonable for a low-end scanner. Anyhow, I don’t think anybody will consider a paper scanner for serious work. After doing some research, the 6 second scanning claim is the speed of the WorkCentre reading the source, the extra time to transmit it to the computer will vary from PC to PC.

The fax machine of the WorkCentre 390 features a 300x300dpi resolution. The fax it self is operating directly from the scanner, in other words, both function are achieved from the same part of the unit. It features 80 speed dials and can hold up to 150 pages in the memory. Again here, it takes about 6 seconds per page to read the source (input).

The Copier function is claimed to reproduce 10-PPM, from our test, we achieved a maximum of 7.5 PPM with text combined with graphics. The copier can go up to 4800dpi (interpolated). You have an enlargement-reduction option on it. You can go from 50-200% in 1-% increments. The maximum multicopy amount is of 99 and the maximum output set is 100.


The installation process went without any hassle. Xerox included two detailed guides. One focused on the installation process covering the initial set-up process and the second covering the configuration and main features. These covered how-to areas for making copies, faxing, printing and even a detailed troubleshooting section. A beginner shouldn’t end up having any problems with setup, as the included documentation covers absolutely everything from A to Z.

The unit comes packed with three different trays. A document Input tray with a flip out extension, a printer exit tray with a pull out extension and a document exit tray with a flip out extension. Xerox also included all the required cables needed to connect the unit with your PC. First is the 6ft PC parallel cable (IEEE 1284) and a 6ft USB cable. You of course get the AC power Cord and a telephone cord in the box. The laser cartridge (113R462) is also included.

As already mentioned, the installation process went very smoothly. The first step consists of inserting the document trays in the slots. Then you will proceed by inserting the cartridge; this is done by puling the cover release buttons toward you on each side. When opened, the unit will begin out-putting beeping and a "DOOR OPEN OR NO TONER CARTRIDGE" message will appear on the LCD display. To follow up, simply unwrap the toner cartridge from it’s protection package, shake it from side to side to distribute the toner evenly and then carefully remove the sealing tape from it. When this preparation step has been completed, grasp the handle of the cartridge down along the cartridge slot unit it clicks into place. When done, simply close the cover of the unit and you are set.

The WorkCentre is now ready to work as a stand-alone machine, to proceed connect the unit to your computer and choose which interface you will be using. If USB, simply connect the 6ft USB cable from the unit to your PC. Windows should instantly detect the unit as "WORKCENTRE 390 USB" and will proceed by asking for the required drivers. We recommend ignoring the warning and continue by inserting the XEROX CD. The official Set-up program will re-detect and configure everything. If you will be using the Parallel interface, the installation will be the same. The only difference will be that windows will ask to restart your computer after the installation process.

When everything is installed and the unit is operable, you can continue by installing the included programs for scanning and faxing. Xerox included Woodcraft’s International LaserFax Lite 3.5 Software for faxing and Pagis PRO 2.0 (Pagis, Pagis Copier and Text PRO 98 for OCR) for scanning features.


Xerox has done a great job on its latest laser WorkCentre system. We first want to congratulate them for improving the exterior control-panel: it’s as easy as it gets, and second, for including a USB interface for it’s easier installation and higher versatility. Customers will appreciate these two features on the 390 model as most of today’s multifunction machines in that price range won’t offer them. The WorkCentre 390 packs everything a home or small business user will ever demand and the $450USD price tag won’t disappoint.

Oleg Mitskaniouk


Web Target PC


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