Reviewing a workgroup printer is not just about print quality, although this one is superb for both colour and greyscale on a range of papers. It is about ease of set-up, connectivity, the speed of first print, ease of use, and total cost of ownership including original cost, anticipated usable life, and ongoing consumables.
First, let’s position this device. Its recommended selling price is $1299 for an A4, multifunction printer offering a larger 7” (small tablet size) LCD screen, LED laser quality and lower running costs compared to its competitors – there is a lot of worthy competition in this space. But when I went online, I found it for under $1000 plus freight (under $50 to most capital cities) at two very reputable Australian online businesses – that makes it extremely good value.
In positioning the device, it is best described as scalable – start with one standard paper tray and you can add two more. It’s time to image rasterise and print the first page is a very respectable 7.5 seconds and thereafter it pushes out 30 pages per minute in colour or mono.
- Laser type: Digital 4 LED Full-colour Electrophotographic Printing Technology
- Speed black/mono pages per minute: 30/30
- First print: 7.5 seconds, wake up from sleep 32 seconds
- Duplex print: yes
- Resolution: up to 1200x1200 supporting PCL5/6 and Postscript 5
- Paper tray one: 250 sheets A4 bond
- Output tray: 150 sheets
- Optional tray: 2 x 530 sheets and multi-purpose tray 100 sheets
- Paper stock: A4 down to 6x4” postcard and envelopes, 64-220gsm
- Copier: up to 999 copies at maximum speed, 25-400% zoom, duplex copy and scan
- Scan: up to 600 x 600 at 30ipm (about 20 seconds a page) from 50 sheet duplex RADF, scan to network, computer, email or app in PDF or JPEG
- Fax: 20 seconds a page, 40 number dialler, 1000 number speed dial, 8000-page incoming memory
- Memory (max): 1GB and 3GB eMMC
- Cloud/Other: Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print 2.0, Dropbox, Office 365, USB or FTP
- Privacy: Private print
- Interface: Gigabit Ethernet (IPv4/6), USB 2.0, optional Wi-Fi N and Wi-Di, plus card reader
- OS: All common server and enterprise including Citrix XenApp 7.6 and smart Extendable Platform, (sXP)
- Size/weight: 427 x 576 x 472 mm x 31kg (no access is required from the sides making it good in tight spaces)
- Panel: 7” LCD colour touch panel and video guidance
- 3-year on-site warranty
Laser has the advantage over ink-jets in that the toner is fused to the paper so even on plain bond the images will be crisp and colourful. But it can also use coated stock (115-250gms) for special presentations. LED is similar to laser and it runs cooler.
- Standard bond, standard settings: Great, accurate colour, crisp black text, good solid colours including “highlighting” fluoro colours, reasonable photo definition (can use Photo enhance mode via the driver to add more tone levels)
- Coated stock, standard settings: Slightly brighter colours and more tone level, even darker blacks (this is all about reflectivity of the paper, not so much a different print quality output)
Its print quality is among the best I have seen.
Cost to run (prices from Printer Supermarket)
Standard toners – black (7K) and cyan, magenta and yellow each at 6K. Total cost: $752.07 – average cost per colour page is 12 cents.
Drums are rated for 30k prints. Total cost: $500.44 or 1.6 cents a page
Fuser/transfer unit is rated for 60k prints. Total cost .003 cents a page.
Overall cost in colour is 14.5 cents a page. But the caveat here is that this is the theoretical cost using all CMYK and the reality is that real-life use costs are more likely to be around 3 cents a page in black and 10 cents a page in colour.
Look for value packs that can reduce costs even more.
The Wi-Fi module is $44 and extra 530 sheet trays (up to two) are $250 each.
The unit is built to enterprise standards ABS and thick, more solid construction will withstand heavy-handed use. The straight paper path makes it easy to identify and clear infrequent jams and there is video guidance on the touch screen.
It comes with a three-year on-site warranty.
LED (light emitting diode) uses LED light instead of laser light (as you would see in a Blu-ray). OKI have been using this technology for the past 30 years. Instead of a laser light being reflected off spinning mirrors, OKI uses a series of LED lights mounted on bars that remain in a fixed position over each of the rotating colour drums.
This means it runs a lot cooler that traditional lasers and can use a wider range of stocks. Banner printing up to 1.2m in length is a feature of most models due to the straight paper path.
In tests against other lasers, OKI produced visibly superior colours, crisper blacks and more gloss.
- Can run third-party applications on the device, such as PaperCut MF and Drivve Image
- Access to document management software SENDYS Explorer LITE at no extra cost
- SENDYS Output Manager option, allowing the administrator to manage all users’ print jobs, reducing costs and environmental impact
- Abbyy Fine Reader compatible
- Software development kit
- Open architecture sXP for workflow integration and document management
There are many brands of lasers and many A4 workgroup lasers – usually purchasing decisions are made based on “fleets” using the same toner.
OKI differentiates itself by its LED technology and corporate users should look at the advantages it provides in running costs and longevity. OKI also has a high degree of commonality of toner and parts in a range of models.
It is a heavy-duty printer, best suited for up to 5000 pages a month and workgroups of 25 users.
OKI also has several managed print service providers that can supply the product on a pay per print plan covering toner, maintenance and replacement.