Dedicated fax machines are certainly declining in popularity, but devices like the Sharp FO-5500 may still have a place in a home or small office. This model's transmission speeds are fairly limited, but its fully-featured control panel and affordable Sharp FO-5500 printer toner make it an attractive option for low-cost faxing without tying up another device.
The FO-5500 manages to cram a lot of faxing features into a fairly compact design. It measures just 18.2x27.2x23.4 inches, with a weight of 48.4 pounds that includes the Sharp FO-5500 toner. The control panel is on top of the flatbed scanning lid, which offers more space for buttons and the display, and is a nice departure from the cramped configurations of many compact models.
For paper handling, the FO-5500 is pretty robust. It features a 50-sheet automatic document feeder for scanning documents without the need to feed each sheet manually. The 650-sheet input paper tray is also a bit surprising given the small design, and users can even add an extra 500-sheet paper tray if they find this limiting and need to upgrade. Both the input trays can handle media up to 8.5x14 inches in size, and the feeder can handle sizes up to 11x14.3 inches.
The most appealing aspect for bargain shoppers will be the low cost of replacement toners. Sharp FO-5500 toner cartridges are inexpensive, with high yields, making it very feasible to use the machine for dedicated, affordable faxing. With each replacement Sharp FO-5500 toner cartridge, users will get a yield of around 5,500 pages, so they won't be needed often.
The Sharp FO-5500 will appeal to only a small segment of buyers, but its affordability and solid features are hard to overlook. Those who don't mind its slow transmission speeds will find it a solid fit for dedicated faxing in the home or small office.
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