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10 Reasons to Skip the Ricoh Aficio C3503 Multifunction Copier in 2023

If your business is in the market for a new multifunction copier, the Ricoh Aficio C3503 may seem like an appealing option at first glance. As an all-in-one color copier, printer, and scanner, it promises to streamline your document workflow and enhance productivity.

However, before you invest in the C3503, there are some significant drawbacks you need to be aware of. Having tested and compared the leading office copiers, I‘ve identified 10 compelling reasons why you should avoid the Ricoh Aficio C3503 and consider alternative devices that deliver superior performance, functionality, and value for your money.

1. No Wireless Connectivity

In today‘s mobile-first business environment, wireless connectivity is an essential feature for any modern office machine. Unfortunately, the Ricoh Aficio C3503 completely lacks Wi-Fi and mobile printing capabilities. This means you‘ll need to physically connect the copier to your office network via Ethernet, and users won‘t be able to print from smartphones, tablets, or laptops without additional adapters.

By comparison, rivals like the Konica Minolta Bizhub C3350 come standard with wireless connectivity, enabling seamless mobile and cloud printing right out of the box. The C3350 supports popular platforms like Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria Print Service, allowing users to print from virtually any device. The lack of wireless on the C3503 severely limits its flexibility and makes it a far less appealing option for the modern workplace.

2. Missing Automatic Document Feeder

An automatic document feeder (ADF) is a critical time-saving feature for any business-class multifunction copier. With an ADF, you can quickly scan, copy, or fax multi-page documents without having to manually place each page on the glass.

Surprisingly, the base configuration of the Ricoh Aficio C3503 does not include an ADF. You‘ll either need to pay extra for this add-on or resign yourself to the tedious process of scanning one page at a time. This is a frustrating omission for a device in this price range.

In contrast, the Konica Minolta Bizhub 284e, a comparable monochrome MFP, comes standard with a 100-sheet reversing automatic document feeder. Having an ADF built-in provides much greater value and efficiency gains for businesses that regularly scan multi-page documents.

3. No Duplex Scanning

Another productivity-enhancing feature the Ricoh C3503 lacks is single-pass duplex scanning. Duplex scanning allows you to scan both sides of a two-sided document simultaneously, effectively doubling your scanning speed and cutting down on paper waste.

On the C3503, you‘ll need to manually flip two-sided originals and re-feed them to capture the back side. This is a time-consuming process that most other business copiers have eliminated with duplex scanning.

For example, the Sharp MX-2651 Advanced Series Color Document System can scan both sides of a document in a single pass at up to 80 images per minute. This is the kind of efficiency you should expect from a modern office copier, putting the C3503‘s scanning limitations in stark relief.

4. Lacks Flatbed Scanning

For scanning bound documents, delicate originals, or irregularly shaped items, a flatbed scanner is essential. Flatbed scanning allows you to carefully position the original on the glass platen, ensuring a clean, accurate scan without damaging the source material.

Surprisingly, the Ricoh Aficio C3503 does not offer a flatbed scanning option, even as an add-on. You‘re limited to scanning loose sheet media through the document feeder. This makes it impossible to digitize bound reports, books, or other items that won‘t fit through the ADF.

This is another area where competitors outshine the C3503. The Kyocera TASKalfa 3011i, for instance, includes a convenient 11" x 17" flatbed scanner coupled with a 100-sheet reversing automatic document processor for maximum versatility. Having both ADF and flatbed options better equips an office to handle diverse scanning needs.

5. High Operating Costs

While the upfront price of the Ricoh Aficio C3503 may seem reasonable, it‘s the ongoing operating costs that really hurt your bottom line. The C3503 is an ink-guzzler, with high costs for replacement toner cartridges that quickly add up with regular usage.

Ricoh doesn‘t publish the cost per page for the C3503, but real-world estimates peg the color cost per page at around 12 cents and monochrome at 2 cents per page. For even a small business, these steep consumable costs can really strain your printing budget.

Total cost of ownership is an area where Konica Minolta has a clear edge over Ricoh. Konica‘s Simitri HD toner uses biomass plant-based materials to reduce environmental impact while lowering printing costs. The Bizhub C3350 delivers an impressive cost per page as low as 9 cents for color and under a penny for monochrome. For offices looking to rein in printing expenses, Konica Minolta offers a far more economical solution than the Ricoh C3503.

6. Outdated User Interface

The Ricoh Aficio C3503‘s control panel and user interface feel clunky and outdated compared to the streamlined, app-like UIs offered by leading competitors. The C3503 relies on a simplistic 4-line monochrome LCD panel and an unintuitive button layout that many users find confusing and difficult to navigate.

Basic functions like scanning to email or USB require digging through sub-menus, and walk-up user functions like image preview and editing are sorely limited. There‘s no option to view documents in color before printing, for example.

The Sharp MX-B467P Essentials Series demonstrates how far UI design has progressed. Sharp‘s award-winning touchscreen display provides an intuitive graphical interface with easy access to every feature through simple swipe, tap, and pinch gestures. The display even tilts and pivots to provide easy viewing for all users, a level of ergonomic consideration absent on the Ricoh device.

In an age where user experience is king, the C3503‘s outdated UI makes it feel like a technological throwback unfit for a modern office.

7. Limited Paper Capacity and Media Handling

Compared to leading competitors, the Ricoh C3503 comes up short on paper handling. Its standard configuration includes a single 500-sheet tray and a 100-sheet bypass tray. Although the paper capacity can be expanded to 1,600 sheets with optional add-on trays, this pales in comparison to more robust alternatives.

The Konica Minolta Bizhub C3851 offers a maximum paper capacity up to 6,650 sheets and can handle paper sizes up to SRA3 for full-bleed 11"x17" output. It also includes a standard 150-sheet multi-bypass tray for printing on envelopes, labels, and specialty media without having to swap out the main paper tray.

Ultimately, the C3503‘s limited paper supply and lack of a high-capacity feeder option make it better suited for small offices with light printing demands. Busier workgroups will quickly become frustrated with the frequent tray refills required to keep the C3503 running.

8. Unimpressive Print and Scan Speeds

While the C3503‘s 35 ppm output speed may have been impressive a decade ago, it lags well behind the blistering speeds offered by the latest generation of MFPs. In the Konica Minolta stable, the Bizhub C450i cranks out up to 45 color pages per minute, with a fast 5.1 second first copy out time.

The C3503 is similarly outclassed when it comes to scanning speeds. Its paltry 54 opm simplex scanning looks downright pokey next to the Sharp MX-3560N‘s 100 images per minute scan speed, or the Kyocera TASKalfa 4003i‘s blazing 180 ipm duplex scan speed. In an office environment where time is money, the C3503‘s underwhelming speeds are a liability.

9. Fewer Finishing Options

The C3503‘s finishing options are limited to a simple 250-sheet internal tray and an optional 500-sheet finisher for basic collating and stapling. There‘s no support for saddle-stitch binding, multi-position stapling, or hole punching.

That means producing any print job more complex than a basic stapled report will require additional handling by you or your staff. You‘ll be stuck manually folding, binding, and finishing jobs the C3503 simply isn‘t equipped to handle.

More advanced MFPs come with optional finishers that streamline the creation of professional-quality finished documents. The Konica Minolta AccurioPrint C3070L, for example, offers a 20-sheet corner stapling finisher, a 20-sheet booklet-making finisher, and a 2/3-hole punch kit for maximum versatility. Investing in an MFP with better finishing capabilities will save you time and enable you to keep more document production in-house.

10. Inferior Security

Last but certainly not least, the Ricoh C3503 fails to provide the multi-layered security modern businesses require to safeguard their sensitive documents and comply with data privacy regulations. Although the device includes basic encryption, user authentication, and hard drive overwrite functions, its security features lag behind industry leaders.

Konica Minolta sets the standard for document security with their bizhub SECURE system. Available on the Bizhub i-Series, this comprehensive suite of security enhancements spans everything from encrypted SSD self-encrypting drives to anti-malware intrusion detection. With bizhub SECURE, all data is protected in transit and at rest using the latest encryption standards.

The system also includes features like secure print release, which holds sensitive print jobs until the authorized user authenticates at the device, and automatic file erasure to ensure confidential data isn‘t recoverable. For businesses that deal with sensitive client information, legal documents, or regulated personal data, the C3503 simply doesn‘t provide adequate protection.


While the Ricoh Aficio C3503 may be an affordable entry-level color MFP, its many limitations and missing features make it a poor value for most offices. Its lack of wireless/mobile connectivity, automatic document feeder, duplex scanning, and flatbed scanner put it at a severe disadvantage compared to more full-featured competitors.

The C3503 also falls short on user experience with its dated control panel, and it fails to impress with its lackluster speeds, limited finishing, and basic security. Although it may suffice for very small offices with minimal copying and printing needs, most businesses will quickly outgrow its capabilities.

Before investing in the C3503, I strongly encourage you to evaluate more advanced alternatives from brands like Konica Minolta, Kyocera, and Sharp. With their cutting-edge feature sets, streamlined interfaces, and robust security enhancements, these vendors‘ MFPs are better equipped to meet the challenges of the modern workplace.

Spending a bit more upfront on a higher-quality, more full-featured device will reward you with productivity gains and cost savings that far outweigh the initial expense. Don‘t sell your office short with the underperforming Ricoh Aficio C3503. Explore the alternatives and invest in an MFP that will propel your business forward.