Xerox AltaLink C8170 Printer Review: Pros, Cons, Cost 

Submitted by Nolan Fowler on Wed, 04/13/2022 - 07:07

There’s a lot that goes into buying an advanced multifunction printer. 

Like any major purchase, research is paramount. Having access to the right information will significantly decrease your chances of making a pricey mistake. 

That “pricey” mistake is a crucial point, as advanced printers can run into the $10,000-$15,000 price range. If you make an ill-informed purchase that turns out to be inadequate, it could cost your company a considerable sum to replace the wrong machine with the right one.    

That’s precisely why we feel the need to utilize our 35-plus years of experience as a print vendor to provide you with the accurate information you need to avoid that multi-thousand-dollar mistake.  

Because we deal with Xerox products specifically, we’ve accumulated an insider’s knowledge of the company’s products and can capably deliver neutral and comprehensive reviews of their printers/copiers.  

Before getting into the review, it’s important to keep in mind that Xerox will not be the brand for everyone, and other companies may have products that are a better fit for your goals.     

Since our expertise is in Xerox’s products, though, we will be going over the AltaLink C8170 multifunction printer in this blog. The review will include the printer’s specifications, features, configuration options and pros and cons to help you assess if this model would be a good fit for you.        

Interested in the Xerox AltaLink C8170? Request a Quote for a free estimation of what you could expect to pay for this machine.

Xerox AltaLink C8170 Basics          

Here are some general statistics and information about the AltaLink C8170 to help you get a feel for print speed, volume, resolution and cost:           

Print Speed: Up to 70 pages per minute (ppm) in both color and black-and-white    

Monthly Duty Cycle: Up to 300,000 pages per month

Recommended Monthly Print Volume: Up to 40,000 pages per month     

Print Resolution: 1200 x 2400 dpi (dots per inch)    

Copy Resolution: 600 x 600 dpi    

First-Print-Out-Time: 3.80 seconds/color and 3.00 seconds black-and-white    

First-Copy-Out-Time: 4.00 seconds/color and 3.20 seconds black-and-white    

Base Model Dimensions: 24.4" x 31.2" x 46" 

Base Model Weight: 352 pounds    

Cost: Starting at around $15,100     

For a look at the AltaLink C8170, see the picture below:    

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Xerox AltaLink C8170 Key Features        

Now, let’s look at some of the key features that come with the AltaLink C8170 multifunction (MFP) printer:                

Touchscreen Interface and App Gallery                    

The Xerox AltaLink C8170 contains a customizable, 10.1-inch tablet-like color touchscreen that allows you to complete printing tasks simply and effectively.                   

You can tailor the user interface to your business’s goals by choosing from the numerous applications on Xerox’s App Gallery. A few examples include:  

  • Scan to Zoho, which allows you to send documents to your Zoho account from your printer. The price of the app ranges from $34-$87, depending on if you choose a one-year, two-year or three-year subscription.   

  • Connect for Salesforce App, which lets you print documents from your Salesforce account on your printer while also giving you the ability to scan hardcopy documents into account folders. There are prices for a one-month subscription ($10), one-year subscription ($99) and three-year subscription ($208).    

  • Auto Copy, which is a free application that grants you the ability to continuously copy documents by setting the application as your default home screen.    

An example of the Auto Copy app, courtesy of Xerox:  

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The Xerox App Gallery contains several industry-specific and general applications that can help increase overall office productivity. For more information on the different kinds of apps, read the following blogs:                      

The touchscreen interface and app gallery are a part of Xerox’s ConnectKey technology, which, among other things, gives you the ability to convert hard-copy records into accessible cloud-based documents and allows you to control your printer from your smartphone with mobile connectivity features.          

AltaLink devices also include specific features such as a smart proximity sensor and multi-destination scanning that aren’t included with Xerox’s other machines. Read our blog about the Xerox AltaLink family to learn more.    

Printer Security         

The AltaLink C8170 contains a four-point approach to security that’ll help prevent, detect and protect against cyberattacks at all points of vulnerability.           

According to Xerox’s website, these include:           

  • Network intrusion and data transmission           

  • Protection from unauthorized access            

  • Stringent data encryption and secure overwrite.             

  • Added security to individual documents           

Some of the security measures involve a comprehensive Firmware Verification test upon printer activation, and further security enhancements by Xerox’s external partnerships with McAfee and Cisco, which includes McAfee’s Whitelisting technology and Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE).             

Last year saw a 50 percent increase in weekly cybercrimes on corporate networks, according to Forbes. The rampant surge in cybercrime has made it critical to inform yourself of the security measures that companies are taking before making a purchasing decision. To learn more about Xerox’s security measures, read our blog about Xerox’s approach to cybersecurity and why it matters.        

Xerox AltaLink C8170 Accessories and Upgrades      

Let’s take a look at some of the standard accessories and different configuration and finishing options that will allow you to customize and upgrade your machine in ways that best optimize your business needs:        

Standard Printer Accessories         

Here are the accessories that come standard with the AltaLink C8170:          

  • Single-Pass Duplex Automatic Document Feeder (DADF)    

  • Two 520-sheet Adjustable Trays     

  • High-Capacity Tandem Tray Configuration (Holds up to 3,140 sheets of paper)     

  • Four Tray Module Configuration (Holds up to 2,180 sheets of paper)    

  • Bypass Tray (Handles up to 100 sheets)        

Optional Printer Accessories          

Now, let’s look at some of the additional accessories you can have included with your machine upon purchase:      

  • Envelope Kit (Replaces the first tray and provides feeding of up to 60 envelopes)     

  • High-Capacity Feeder (Holds 3,000 sheets of letter/A4 paper, increasing maximum paper capacity to 6,140 sheets)    

  • Long Sheet Feed Kit (Can print up to 12.6” x 52” prints)        

Print Finishing Options        

Lastly, here are the finishing options you can include with the Altalink C8170:      

  • Office Finisher    

  • Business Ready Finisher    

  • C-Fold/Z-Fold Unit     

  • BR Booklet Maker Finisher (creates 64-page saddle-stitched booklets—2-to 16 sheets)    

  • Dual Offset Catch Tray (Available when no finishers are installed)    

  • Integrated Office Finisher (Provides 500-sheet stacking and 50-sheet, 2-position stapling.    

  • Convenience Stapler (Staples up to 50 sheets of 20 lb. / 75 gsm (Grams per Square Meter)    

For a look at how the AltaLink C8170 could look with additional upgrades, see the picture below, courtesy of Xerox:    

2 Pros of the Xerox AltaLink C8170        

Now, let’s look at two of the main pros of the AltaLink C8170:       

1. All-In-One Printing Solution          

The AltaLink C8170 is a multifunction printer, which means you’re getting a machine that not only has print capabilities but also can act as your scanner, fax machine and copier, as well. With an MFP, you get all these basic office functions in one machine, without having to invest in or make space for a separate scanner, copier or fax machine.        

For more information about multifunction printers, read these blogs:                  

2. Permanent Printing Solution                   

In addition to being able to perform as an all-encompassing print solution, the AltaLink C8170 is also built to act as a permanent printing solution for your workplace.                

Investing in an advanced multifunction printer is a long-term investment, which means you can expect the machine to last for a significant amount of time if you follow the recommended monthly print volume.             

Although printers have a monthly duty cycle that lists the volume they can print at, it’s always recommended to use a machine’s monthly print volume as a barometer for how much you should print in a month.   

Consistently printing at the machine’s duty cycle rather than the recommended print volume can result in more service issues and a shorter product lifespan.         

Read our blog about understanding your machine’s duty cycle and print volume to learn more.       

2 Cons of the Xerox AltaLink C8170           

Let’s now go through two of the main cons of the AltaLink C8170:      

1. Size of the Printer    

Arguably the main downside to the AltaLink C8170 is that it’s a large machine and requires you to have adequate space that can accommodate the machine.     

The AltaLink C8170 weighs 352 pounds and contains a base configuration width of 24.4 inches, a depth of 31.2 inches and a height of 46 inches.       

Because of its large size and high volume, the AltaLink C8170 is likely not a fit for small businesses that don’t have the requisite room or need for an advanced multifunction printer.        

A machine’s exact dimensions and space requirements are crucial determinative factors that must be considered before purchasing. Read our blog about the differences between equipment measurements and space requirements to learn more.        

2. Must Meet Printer's Electrical Requirements     

In addition to evaluating your office space, you also need to check your electrical outlet to make sure it’s compatible with the machine’s requirements.    

The AltaLink C8170’s electrical requirements are as follows (courtesy of Xerox): 

Voltage: 110-127 VAC +/- 10%

Frequency: 50/60 Hz +/- 3%, 20 A   

Most companies nowadays will meet the electrical requirements needed for AltaLink devices, but if you don’t meet those requirements, you would have to update your electrical outlet before purchasing the AltaLink C8170.        

Xerox AltaLink C8170 Cost                  

As listed previously, the base cost of the AltaLink C8170 is around $15,100. This doesn’t include optional upgrades or maintenance plans that you may want to include upon purchase of your machine.          

You will also need to purchase a separate Wireless Connectivity Kit to set up WIFI on the AltaLink C8170. You can purchase the WIFI accessory for around $50.        

Buying a multifunction printer will almost always be more expensive than buying a single-function printer, and it’s a purchase that should not be taken lightly.           

Some vendors may offer trade-ins and there’s also the option to lease your printer, rather than purchase it outright. Leasing a printer breaks down the total price into more affordable monthly payments. For more information on this, read these blogs:               

Who Is the Xerox AltaLink C8170 a Good Fit for?                     

The AltaLink C8170 is a good fit for:                   

  • Medium-to-large-sized businesses that need an all-in-one, high-volume (up to 40,000 pages per month), printing solution with color printing capabilities.    

  • Those looking to purchase a printer with advanced technological features and industry-specific applications that help automate workflows.       

  • Those who require advanced finishing options on a multifunction machine.    

  • Those looking to make a long-term printing investment.               

If you fall into one of these categories, then you are a candidate for the AltaLink C8170. However, you would want to extensively evaluate your specific printing goals with a business consultant before purchasing.          

Who Is the Xerox AltaLink C8170 Not a Good Fit for?             

The AltaLink C8170 is not a good fit for:                      

  • Those searching for a single-function printer for personal use.         

  • Small-to-medium-sized businesses that don’t print at a high volume.   

  • Those who don’t have the space requirements and electrical capacity to acclimatize the machine.                    

If you fall into one of these categories, then this is not the model for you. Read our blog on how to choose a printer for your budget and business needs to help with choosing the right model for you.          

What Are the Other Models in the Xerox AltaLink C8100 Series?  

The AltaLink C8170 model is the most advanced of the five printers in the AltaLink C8100 Series, with the others being the C8130, C8135, C8145, and C8155 models.              

They all contain the same basic technological features and accessories but differ in function efficiency. The more advanced the model gets in the series, the more efficient it will be.              

This is displayed by the ascending print speeds in the series: the AltaLink C8130 has a print speed of up to 30 ppm, the C8135 has a print speed of up to 35 ppm, the C8145 has a print speed of up to 45 ppm, the C8155 has a print speed of up to 55 ppm and the C8170 has a print speed of up to 70 ppm.    

The same can be said for the monthly duty cycle. The C8130 model has a duty cycle of up to 90,000 pages, the C8135 has a monthly duty cycle of up to 110,000 pages, the C8145 has a duty cycle of up to 200,000 pages and the C8155 and C8170 have a duty cycle of up to 300,000 pages.      

The AltaLink C8170 also has the fastest first-print-out-time (3.80 seconds color, 3.00 seconds black-and-white) and first-copy-out-time of the Series (4.00 seconds color, 3.20 seconds black-and-white).  

If you like the technological features of the AltaLink C8170 but don’t require the most efficient option in the Series, then one of the other four models would be the better fit.          

Think the Xerox AltaLink C8170 Is Right for You?           

Because of our experience with the AltaLink C8170, we can tell you that it’s a solid printer model capable of satisfying the needs of medium-to-large-sized workgroups who desire a color multifunction option that is equipped with advanced technological features such as a tablet-like interface and customized applications.       

We can also tell you that the AltaLink C8170 is not a fit for small workgroups that don’t print at a high volume or don’t have the necessary space to fit the machine. Individuals who seek a personal desktop printing solution will also need to look elsewhere.      

Factors such as your budget, print volume and desired features should be considered and vetted by industry professionals before purchasing an advanced multifunction printer.  

As a vendor who’s helped businesses of all kinds find printing solutions that best meet their situation, we know what it takes to get the right machine in place for your company.    

If you’ve read through this and think the AltaLink C8170 could be for you, or you need help finding a print solution, reach out to us and an experienced representative will guide you through the next steps.