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OKI C810n - compact A3 printer

Can LED technology give this compact A3 colour printer the edge over its laser rivals?

All these speed results were printing A4 pages, but when we started to print A3 pages speeds dropped, as you would expect. Now a five-page text document took 32 seconds, just over 9ppm and a text and colour graphic test finished in 42 seconds, just 7.1ppm. A 15 x 10cm full-colour photo took an impressive 21 seconds and a full A3 photo completed in 1:18, again a good speed.

What holds the machine back in speed terms is up to 38 seconds Adjusting Temperature', in other words heating up the fuser. Several of OKI's rival manufacturers now have instant-on fusers and short run print speeds could be improved by using that technology here.

The quality of prints from the C810n is, in general, very good. Black text is crisp and clean, equally suitable for internal or customer documents and sharp right down to small font sizes. Colour graphics are also bright and attractive and black text registration over colour backgrounds is near-perfect.

The only place colour print falls down is in photo reproduction, often a problem with colour page printers. Here, although colour fills are reasonably smooth and there's little noticeable banding, some detail, particularly in shadowed areas, is lost. The colour gamut seems a little wider than from some colour lasers, so the picture postcard' effect is reduced.

The consumables regime in the printer is fairly complicated, with toner cartridges, image drums, fuser and transfer belt all having different service intervals. Although these are quite large, you still have to deal with new parts at 8,000, 20,000, 80,000 and 100,000 pages. Maintenance must be seen as relatively high on this machine.

Working through the costs of all the main consumables gives a cost per page of 1.1p for a black page and 5.1p for a colour one, both at ISO coverage levels. Both these prices are good for a machine in this category and particularly useful on a machine that can print larger pages.

Verdict

This is a very compact A3 colour printer, offering good quality business print quickly, at a variety of sizes. It's cheap to run, in terms of consumables and offers good expandability. The LED technology is simpler and less bulky than conventional laser printing and results are just as good.

DPI: 1,200 x 600 dpi Claimed PPM: 32ppm A3 colour printer Dimensions: 345 x 485 x 579mm Paper handling: 300 + 100 sheet paper trays Duty cycle: 75,000 page one-off monthly duty cycle Connectivity: Ethernet ports Printer drivers: PCL6 and PostScript L3 emulation drivers

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