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on November 7, 2009
On the positive side, it prints very quickly in black, a little slower in color (it's a four-pass CMYK printer, meaning it prints Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black in individual runs or passes) but the quality of the color images are fantastic and are only limited by the quality of paper used. It scans acceptably well, not spectacular, but more than well enough for my needs. Haven't tried the fax portion and don't foresee doing so.

There are only two negatives that I've found: the machine is noisy even when not in use; it has a loud cooling fan that will run for a long time (more than 20 minutes); and it's shipped with what seems like only a few drops of black toner. If you buy this printer and plan to do any amount of printing right away, you need to get more black toner, pronto. The toner cartridge that came with it lasted less than a week with moderate usage.

So far I like it and would recommend it. The printer part of it gets five stars, the scanner four stars. The other qualities--noise, set up, features--bring the overall rating to four stars.
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on February 1, 2010
We use this printer in our little design office, to supplement the ultra-high-quality (and ultra slow and expensive) prints from our ink-jet printer. I bought this printer to offer speed and economy for daily printing. The prints are surprisingly good, and fast enough to be a welcome relief from that ink-jet printer!

There is a bit of fan noise at times, and scanning over the network can be a little slow at the higher resolutions. But overall we are extremely happy with the printer. We've been cranking out full color prints of renderings and drawings, and there are no signs that we are running out of toner. We still don't use if for our final, photographic-quality high-gloss presentations, but we use if for all our daily stuff and interim client reviews.
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on July 10, 2010
I've had this printer for several months and would overall rate it as mediocre, but the base machine now sells for ~$250 online so you get what you pay for. Compared to prior Brother lasers, the KM is very noisy, slow, counter-intuitive to set up, crippled in a Mac OS 10.6 environment, and has largely dismal support online and by phone. So, be certain you're willing to accept these trade-offs in return for decent color prints, adequate scans, and OK faxes. Otherwise, pay a few hundred dollars more for a more user-friendly machine.

As others have noted, a set of OEM toner replacements costs more than the entire printer, so this is the Gillette model: give away the razors but make your profit on the supplies. Refilled toner cartridges are about half the cost of OEM and available online; refill kits, if you want to put up with the mess, could drop the costs further. One particularly annoying feature is that it's virtually impossible to cancel a print job using the buttons on the front. If there's a printing error in one document of twenty, the only to stop the machine from spitting out garbled pages filled with costly toner is to power it down and then hit the Cancel button repeated as it powers back up. I've called customer support from time to time and finally figured out that they do have some good reps who can be very helpful, so if you get a bozo, just politely thank him for his efforts and call back on the same number. It usually takes 4-5 calls in a row to find an experienced tech but it's worth the effort: they will know the limitations of the machine, which helps you avoid trying to find a workaround for inherent problems in the hardware or software.

As a color laser printer alone, I would rate the quality of the images as good. I run a small business and print 80% B&W and 20% color so this machine is adequate for my needs. In fact, I used the driver features to set up different virtual printers [B&W draft quality, color draft quality, B&W hi res, color hi res] and find that for most tasks the draft quality is indistinguishable visually from the hi res setting. I presume this is saving significant toner costs, as it did on my Brother machines, but it's possible that the reason is that this software feature doesn't do much. You probably would want to use hi res for photo images.

I've read the user manual ten times and it is really marginal: sometimes confusing, lacking in depth, and almost useless in trouble shooting. Combined with the poor customer support, this means you are pretty much on your own in figuring how to set up this machine. Fortunately, my Mac OS 10.6 software had no trouble recognizing this printer via USB connection, and then my Time Machine network recognized it too. I also figured out how to have Windows XP in a virtual environment recognize the print function if I hook it up to a USB port on my MacBook Pro. I gave up on net printing after wasting a few hours although I have implemented this on other printers without such hassles.

As a Mac user, the greatest drawback is that despite over a year of misleading sales as a "Mac Compatible" system, KM has still not released scan or fax drivers for OS 10.6. In other words, this printer is only compatible with outdated Mac OS: none of the other "multifunction" features work with Snow Leopard. I did finally figure out how to save manual scans to a USB stick using the port on the front of the machine, but after two scans is saves them skewed about 30 degrees. I'm assuming this is a hardware defect but the quality of the scans is low enough I will probably use my trusty Brother machine for scanning and faxing.

I did install the duplex adapter that also required adding a large capacity paper tray. It seems to work but the large capacity tray makes the scanner bed so high up I had to move it off of my desk to a lower table nearby. Paper handling features are rudimentary: it will not accept 8.5 x 14 or sizes smaller than a personal envelope. So, I use my trusty Brother to print deposit slips and scan or print legal-sized documents.

In summary, the KM 1690MF is the least expensive color laser printer available because it has a number of limitations. But, if you are on a tight budget and don't print many pages per month, it could fill the bill if you use Windows or an outmoded Mac OS.
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on February 28, 2011
I bought this printer after much searching of all the brand names I could find. In total blind faith, I decided on this one. It seemed to have the least service problems opposed to the best features. As laser printers were never meant to produce quality photos, this printer does quite nicely for occasional medium grade photos and oustanding for my original purpose...color printed illustrations and reams of notes for my anatomy and microbiology classes.I am deeply satisfied with this printer for this purpose.
As for problems, the first page I tried to print, the paper jammed, my fault for not putting in the paper right (I was in a hurry). Also, the fuser is faulty (and they are sending me a new one at no charge) leaving a mark across two lines on the paper. It doesn't affect my notes and color diagram, but still, it's new and shouldn't do that.
I have had no other problems and Minolta is being wonderful about all my idiots issues. They were endlessly patient when, after two months and 764 pages later, I had to replace the sample toners. They lasted much longer than they were supposed to, but I set my dpi settings at 600 x 600. I still had very good quality results at that setting.They worked with me for over an hour, walking me through the installation.
All in all, I would definitely buy this product again and will endlessly recommend it to all my friends!
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VINE VOICEon June 15, 2011
We've had this printer just over a year in a light-use office setting. It is great when it works, but has been a lot of trouble for us. Here are the main problems:

1. Would continually jam in the fuser unit, especially with heavier paper. Regular paper jammed 25% of the time, thick stuff 90%. Tech support was ultimately helpful and shipped us a new fuser. Still jams more than it should but mostly ok.

2. Does not print at proper scale with some applications. This means printing to mailing labels (or any avery-style label with templates) is a very frustrating experience. The top labels will be aligned properly, but since the scale is wrong, the bottom couple of rows of labels are unusable.

3. After 9 months, it no longer recognizes any toners as being full. This is with fresh, Konica brand toner (which is *not* cheap, $400 a set or more). It says all toners are at 0% all of a sudden and won't print despite the "stop on empty" feature being turned off. According to the manual it should continue printing, but it doesn't. Tomorrow we get to waste more time with tech support.

Overall I certainly would not buy this printer again. The quality and features are great when they work, but this thing is anything but dependable.
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on September 7, 2011
I've had this printer for about a month now and it does everything very well. Drivers install easily enough too.

I mainly use the printing / copying, not so much the faxing though I did use it once and it worked fine.

Can't beat the price on amazon for a color laserjet printer like this one!

Great for a home office.

Only thing I didn't like (Which is probably a universal problem to printers in general) was that I can't use the scanning feature over the Ethernet connection. You have to use the USB connection to use the scanner with your computer (Unless you plan on using a thumb drive to transfer the scan over to your computer). And it can be a bit loud when printing. But when it goes into sleep mode it gets really quite.

Otherwise very happy with this printer.
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on June 29, 2011
I like almost everything about this printer. Print speed and quality is good. It has a host of features and good quality for relatively cheap money. Now for the three things that I think are not good about this printer. The display needs a BACKLIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! I can't tell you how many times this has driven me crazy!!! I have to use a flashlight in one hand, while trying to manipulate the menus with my free hand. This printer is for a tech savvy person. The first question that the setup asks is, "DO you want to use an existing port or create a new one?" How would an average user even know what it is asking??? I did not have a problem with this because I do computer tech support by trade. The other issue I have is the documentation is really lousy and menu navigation can be a bit trying as things are not terribly intuitive or clear. Overall, I like this printer alot, but it is not perfect.
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on April 7, 2010
Overall really nice laser printer for the price and functionality. The only one out there that I can see. However if you own a Mac which is a lot of us... there is only USB scanning using Image Capture, meaning no network scanning like there is from the PC driver.
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on January 28, 2010
It's certainly no plug and play model, and even though setup took a little patience (I think only because the first computer I setup with is Win 7), it wasn't as bad as expected from some reviews I'd come across. I'm still not exactly sure how the scanner works over the network, but I haven't toyed with it. The documentation lacks, but any questions are promptly and professionally answered by support over the phone or email. The print quality is stunning. The combination of features and price make it a truly unbeatable bargain. I'm not anxious to replace the toner as it's pretty pricey, but a bargain shopper could find some reasonable deals online, and hopefully by the time I need toner the price will have dropped some. Overall I'm extraordinarily pleased.
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on December 6, 2012
I'd had a couple of previous Konica-Minoltas, and was happy with them. I'm not a newbie to printers.

This one worked fine until one of the toner cartridges needed to be replaced. I bought a set of all four toner carts. I opened the printer, removed the empty yellow cartridge, and popped in the new replacement. The machine told me it wasn't installed. I took it out, popped it back in, made sure it was in there straight, the little white plastic gears were lined up, everything was perfect. Snapped it into place, heard the "click." Again the machine said it wasn't installed.

I went through that dance about ten times, turning the machine off and on, checking the manual, looking online for help, everything. Same result every time: "not installed." When I popped the empty cartridge back in (the very same way), the printer detected that just fine. Finally I tried to refill the old empty cartridge, put the refill plug back into it, popped that into the machine, and the printer accepted it. And told me the cartridge was empty.

So for the price of the printer, I got a few dozen good copies. And now it's worthless. Since I bought the printer about six months ago (that's how long it took for the yellow toner to run out with light to moderate use), and the box is long gone, I'm stuck with a worthless printer. Buyer beware.
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