Oki’s latest A3 LED printers are aimed squarely at SMBs with an appetite for big colour prints, and those that want to bring all their printing requirements in-house. The new C9650 is offered in four models, and on review we have the base version that comes with a single paper tray and networking as standard.
Businesses looking for a single solution for all their printing demands will like the expansion potential of this printer. The duplex unit can be fitted when required and two lockable paper trays added underneath, as can a high-capacity feeder that effectively quadruples capacity.
There’s a two- or four-hole punch unit and booklets can be completed with four or five-tray finishers that can fold, saddle stitch and staple documents.
Oki takes a leaf out of Canon’s book, since it also focuses on printing security with the hard disk option delivering features such as secure printing, secure erase and data encryption.
As with all Oki LED colour printers, the C9650n toner cartridges each have their own image drum arranged in-line down the paper path. In the printer lid are LED arrays for each colour, and data is sent to all four heads simultaneously so images can be laid down in a single pass.
Using the paper slot and multipurpose tray on opposite sides creates a virtually flat paper path allowing the printer to handle 300gsm stationery and banners up to 1.2m long.
The decent hardware specification made sure print speeds are on the money, with a simple 50-page A4 Word document delivered at a rate of 41ppm and a 24-page colour DTP document despatched in 38 seconds for a tidy 37ppm.
A3 prints are also handled efficiently with a 30-page colour report dropping into the output bin at 20ppm. Our only issue with performance was the time to first page, since this varied from 10 to 20 seconds.
For consumables, you have four toner cartridges and drum kits plus fuser and transfer belt. They’re all very easy to access and deliver good print costs with an A4 mono page costing 2c and a colour page 13c. The printer driver offers plenty of finishing options for output such as banners and posters, which will increase as you add more paper handling features.
Although not as smart as HP’s Laserjet colour management tools, Oki includes its Color Control suite allowing you to monitor printing and restrict the use of colour to specific users.
Print quality will need to be good to satisfy Oki’s target market and the C9650 puts up a good show. One thing we like about the output from these LED printers is their rich, vibrant colours which will really make your projects stand out.
A very small amount of banding was evident in large areas of single colour in our A3 posters, but it’s certainly no worse than any other laser we’ve tested recently.
The C9650n is a big printer that can handle a high colour printing demand. Canon’s LBP5960 is a better bet for more modest requirements, but speed and expansion potential are two key reasons for choosing this printer above lower cost A3 lasers.
This Review appeared in the August, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing