Xerox AltaLink B8170 Printer Review: Pros, Cons, Cost

Submitted by Nolan Fowler on Mon, 05/09/2022 - 07:07
The Xerox AltaLink B8170 with additional paper trays and accessories

Finding a permanent printing solution for your office can be more tedious than you would think. 

An ideal printer-research process requires access to accurate and honest information from a reputable source. 

As a locally managed print vendor for 35 years, we’ve gathered enough expertise to provide you with exactly what you need to know to get the right machine in place for your company. 

And because we partner with Xerox, we have become experts in their product arsenal and can compile a thorough review of their various machines. 

Before getting into the review, it should be noted that Xerox machines will not be for everyone. Many brands offer long-term printing solutions that may better fit your situation and you should always vet out your options before making a purchase. 

Even though we sell Xerox products, our foremost goal in the content-making process is to impartially inform you with the knowledge you need to make the right purchasing decision.  

With that in mind let’s get into our review of the AltaLink B8170 model, which will include the printer’s specifications, features, configuration options and pros and cons to help you assess whether it’d be a fit for your business.                  

Xerox AltaLink B8170 Basics                  

Here are some general statistics and information about the AltaLink B8170 to help you get a feel for print speed, volume, resolution and cost:                

Print Speed: Up to 72 pages per minute (ppm)    

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

Recommended Monthly Print Volume: 100,000 pages    

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

Copy Resolution: 600 x 600 dpi       

First-Print-Out-Time: 3.0 seconds   

First-Copy-Out-Time: 3.2 seconds     

Base Model Weight: About 319 pounds     

Cost: Starting at around $10,650          

For a look at the AltaLink B8170, see the picture below:       

Xerox AltaLink B8170 Key Features                  

Now, let’s look at some of the key features that come with the AltaLink B8170 multifunction (MFP) printer:                           

Touchscreen Interface and App Gallery                            

The Xerox AltaLink B8170 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:     

  • QuickBooks Online, which links users directly to the QuickBooks service to quicken the expense reporting process. The app will let you scan multiple receipts at once, preview the receipts, edit and submit the data fields and notify the approver from the device. The price of the app is $20 for 100 receipts, $69 for 500 receipts and $99 for 1000 receipts, and you must have an existing QuickBooks Online account and access to a computer to use the app. 

  • Connect for Microsoft 365 and Connect for Microsoft OneDrive, which gives you a cloud-storage solution to find, store and print digitized documents. Both applications use the same pricing metric: $10 per month, $99 a year and $208 for three years.  

  • Clip2Go, an app that allows you to clip and crop parts of a document, while also previewing what the clip/crop scanned images will look like so you have a feel for what the final scan will entail. The price of the app is per device and is $27 for one year, $50 for two years and $60 for three years.  

An example of the Clip2Go app:    

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 B8170 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                       

AltaLink devices contain a built-in security measure called the AltaLink Trusted Boot, which protects your machine’s start-up process from malicious actions. Further security enhancements are a result of Xerox’s external partnerships with McAfee and Cisco, which includes McAfee’s Whitelisting technology and Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE), that aid in neutralizing threats instantly at the device.                     

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 B8170 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 B8170:              

  • 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)          
  • 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 B8170:             

  • Office Finisher (provides advanced finishing functions and optional crease/score and saddle-stitch booklet-making)     
  • Business Ready Finisher (advanced finishing functions)      
  • C-Fold/Z-Fold Unit (adds C-fold, Z-fold and Z-half-fold capability to the BR Finisher or BR Booklet Maker Finisher)     
  • BR Booklet Maker Finisher (creates 64-page saddle-stitched booklets—2-to 16 sheets)        
  • 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 B8170 could look with additional upgrades, see the picture below, courtesy of Xerox:      

2 Pros of the Xerox AltaLink B8170                  

Now, let’s look at two of the main pros of the AltaLink B8170:                  

1. All-In-One Printing Solution                          

The AltaLink B8170 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 B8170 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 B8170              

Let’s now go through two of the main cons of the AltaLink B8170:              

1. Size of the Printer            

Arguably the main downside to the AltaLink B8170 is that it’s a large multifunction printer and requires you to have adequate space that can accommodate the machine.              

The AltaLink B8170 weighs around 319 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 B8170 is likely not a fit for small businesses that don’t have the requisite room or need for an advanced multifunction printer.             

You will also need the following electrical requirements to install the AltaLink B8170, courtesy of Xerox:   

“Voltage: 110-127 VAC +/- 10% Frequency: 50/60 Hz +/- 3%, 20 A “   

A machine’s space and electrical 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. No Color Printing Capability      

The main downside to the AltaLink B8170 is it only prints/copies in black-and-white, which means the machine can’t satisfy color printing needs.     

If you’re looking for a similar multifunction option that can print in color, the AltaLink C8170 could be an option for you.                  

Xerox AltaLink B8170 Cost                           

As listed previously, the base cost of the AltaLink B8170 is around $10,650. 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 B8170. 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 B8170 a Good Fit for?                       

The AltaLink B8170 is a good fit for:                            

  • Medium-to-large-sized businesses that need an all-in-one, high volume, 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 B8170. However, you would want to extensively evaluate your specific printing goals with a business consultant before purchasing.                          

Who Is the Xerox AltaLink B8170 Not a Good Fit for?                   

The AltaLink B8170 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 accommodate 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 B8100 Series?     

The AltaLink B8170 model is the most advanced model of the three printers in the AltaLink B8100 Series, with the others being the B8145 and B8155 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 B8145 has a print speed of up to 45 ppm, the B8155 has a print speed of up to 55 ppm and the B8170 has a print speed of up to 72 ppm.                  

The same can be said for the recommended monthly print volume. The B8145 model has a monthly print volume of up to 50,000 pages, the B8155 has a monthly print volume of up to 75,000 pages, and the B8170 has a monthly print volume of 100,000 pages.               

If you like the technological features of the AltaLink B8170 but don’t require the most efficient option in the Series, you would want to look into the B8145 and B8155 models. Because they are slightly less efficient, they will be cheaper than the B8170 model.    

Read our reviews of the AltaLink B8145 and AltaLink B8155 model to learn more about the first two models in the AltaLink B8100 Series.             

Think the Xerox AltaLink B8170 Is Right for You?         

If you’re looking for a black-and-white multifunction printer that is built to handle a high volume, is equipped with advanced technological features and includes a range of finishing options, then the AltaLink B8170 serves as a strong option to meet those desires.             

If you’re a small workgroup that doesn’t print at a significant volume or require a machine with color printing capability, then the AltaLink B8170 would not be a good fit for you.    

Buying an advanced multifunction printer is not an investment that should be taken lightly, and it’s crucial that you assess your situation to ensure you’re making the correct purchase for your situation.      

Our industry expertise has provided us with the necessary tools to guide you to your ideal printing solution, no matter what it is.      

If you’ve read through this and think the AltaLink B8170 could be for you, or you need help finding a print solution, reach out to us and we will do our best to assist you.