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OKI C9850MFP - A3+ printer review

This heavy duty printer from OKI offers A3+ printing, duplex capability and Sharepoint integration. But can it offer speed and quality as well as an extensive feature list?

OKI rates the multi-function at 40ppm mono and 36ppm colour. We tested with 20 and 60-page documents and produced times of 2:47 for a 60-page, A4 black text document and 0:46 for a 20-page, A4 text document with colour graphics. These times equate to 32ppm and 26ppm, respectively, which isn't too far from the published figures.

Moving to A3 prints, we saw speeds of 17ppm simplex and 14ppm duplex, a surprisingly small speed drop-off for double-sided print, but one which is supported by a measured A4 duplex speed of 31ppm. A 20-page A4 colour copy took just 46 seconds, three seconds faster than an equivalent black text-only print.

Black print quality in simplex and duplex documents is excellent, with crisp character shapes and no toner spatter which could cause a fuzz to outlines. Colours are very positive and bright, ideally for punchy business graphics, and there's no sign of any banding, which can mar otherwise clean colour prints. The registration of black text over colour was slightly out in places, but barely noticeable.

The copies we did were also very good, with colours close to the originals and little of the colour lightening we often see. Scans into memory also gave good colour integrity and the default 600ppi resolution of the scan head is sufficient for virtually all business needs though it may not be enough for copy-shop use.

Finally, our photo image suffered from a reduced colour gamut, when compared to inkjet prints, and some of the shadow detail was lost, but there are few page printers that do much better than this with photo images.

Running costs can be broken down into the costs of toner, EP cartridge, fuser, belt and waste toner bottle, each of which has a different service life. Using OKI RRPs gives a 5 per cent black print cost of 1.51p and a 20 per cent colour print one of 8.06p, both of which are reasonable figures for a machine in this class.

You don't have to buy printer and consumables, of course. You can pay for them on a per-click basis and have all maintenance thrown in. The price of this will depend on individual dealer pricing.

Verdict

This well-made, robust multi-function is a flexible A3+ device for departmental or print-shop use, where larger print size and different media options are important. It’s reasonably cheap to run, gives good print quality and includes a hardware RIP to speed Postscript processing. It can also be tied into an archival system like SharePoint.

DPI: 1,200dpi, 40/32ppm A3+ colour printer Paper tray: 4 x 530 + 230 sheet paper trays Duty cycle: 5,000-15,000 pages per month average Connections: USB 2 and gigabit Ethernet ports Languages: PCL XL, Adobe PostScript L3 and PDF 1.7 Features: Single-pass duplex scanning, touch screen, archival integration

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