Saturday, 08 August 2015 13:56

OKI Printers – A3, MC873 - first looks

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OKI has quietly been chipping away at the managed print services and business market. Its new A3, MC 873 LED colour laser is scoring impressive goals in the workgroup arena.

Its really hard to review a printer – it either prints well, fast, has a quality build, is good value and so on – or not.

To put this in its place – The MC 873 ranges in price from A$4962 (RRP ex) to $5,999. It is a 35 page per minute (A4) and 20 page per minute (A3) colour/mono LED laser, multifunction device with a variety of trays and cabinet options that is suitable for workgroup and corporate use (up to 75,000 pages per month maximum, and 10,000 page average duty cycle).

It also uses OKI’s latest open-API, smart Extendable Platform (sXP) to support OKI add-on solutions such as print management, document-capture, and document-management solutions – yes printers are now more about on and off ramps for data capture. It also supports Google Cloud Print, AirPrint (Apple) and OKI Mobile Print (Android) for mobile devices.

The printer was released in Australia in June although it has been it the US market for several months and received the Better Buys Editor’s Choice for a business class, workgroup, MFP. Better Buys commented that this printer offered features above it class e.g. a 7” LCD screen, and it’s a shame that it did not have a suite of finishing options (collators, folders, etc.) - it does have an electric stapler.

Features

It is an MFP - printing, copying (A3), scanning (50ppm single sided and duplex as well), and faxing (G3 and internet). It has an electric ‘convenience’ stapler on the side.

Screen

7″ colour touchscreen includes a job macro feature (for custom jobs), and diagnostic help (identification of issue and instructions on how to troubleshoot it).

RAM and Storage

Base unit has 1.25GB RAM and a 250GB hard disk.

Connectivity

USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, optional Wi-Fi N. Windows, Mac and Linux compatible.

Utilities

Color Correct, OKI LPR, smart PrintSuperVision, Color Swatch, Template Manager, Web Driver Installer, Firmware Update Tool, Front End Installer, Network Extension, Print Job Accounting Client, PS Gamma Adjuster, Profile Assistant, PDF Print Direct, Configuration Tool2, ActKey, Network Card Setup, SENDYS Explorer LITE, and ABBYY FineReader 12 Sprint

Print Quality

It is a 1200x600 laser and prints from A6 to 1.3m banners on paper/card up to 256gsm. Print samples on a wide variety of stocks show an even and natural colour coverage with particularly black blacks and vibrant reds. With the right stock it will print a photo to a standard expected of a dedicated photo printer. Print quality is better than expected from a laser at this price. Duplex print is standard.

Consumables

You can either access a managed print program and pay per page or buy toners outright.

Prices are RRP ex GST and indicative only.

  • EP Drum (four required C,Y,M,K 30K life) approx. $84.57 (CMY) and $166.86 (K)
  • Black Toner - 15K $146.26
  • C, M, Y - 10K each $223.51
  • Transfer Unit – 80K pages $124.33
  • Fuser Unit – 100K pages $124.33

By my estimate that is well under 10 cents per colour page which is reasonably typical of this workgroup class.

Warranty

Three years. OKI’s LED technology means fewer moving parts and increased reliability.

Summary

A3, A4, A5, A6 and 1.3m banners, 256gsm card capable, 7” easy to use screen, OKI quality and a reasonable price. Bang for buck – makes this a workgroup laser that is a leader in its class.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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