OKI Printing Solutions C3400n

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OKI Printing Solutions C3400n
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • High-quality text printing, fast colour printing, compact size

Cons

  • Expensive operating costs, no paper handling upgrades

Bottom Line

This entry-level colour laser delivers high text quality and fast colour speeds, but operating costs are high.

Would you buy this?

The OKI Printing Solutions C3400n is a new low-end model in OKI's family of networked colour laser printers. It sports a design that's better suited to a small office than OKI's former corporate style, looking more like a stackable plastic storage box than a printer.

The C3400n falls short on good paper handling. Its main paper tray only holds 250 sheets, while it has a single-sheet slot in place instead of a 100-sheet manual tray. Though the C3400n retains the 250-sheet output bin (which gives a straighter path for thicker media), its rear-output capacity is only 10 sheets.

If you print many envelopes, you'd be better off looking for a printer that lets you feed more than one envelope at a time. OKI offers no optional paper trays, and lacks the option of a duplexer.

The C3400n has a simple control panel with two buttons and three lights, so most of the time you'll likely operate the printer from your PC.

The C3400n applies toner to the page using four LED arrays, a trait common to all OKI colour printers. In our tests, the C3400n printed text at a roughly average 15 pages per minute (ppm) and excelled at colour graphics, printing them at 5.3ppm at default settings on plain paper; it printed at 2.5ppm on glossy paper at best quality settings.

This model also offers improved text quality. Text output looked a little grey in our tests, and we noticed some jagged diagonals in large lettering, but most characters were sharp and nicely formed. Our line-art sample exhibited some minor horizontal banding in blocks of close parallel lines, but otherwise lines appeared sharp and distinct. Greyscale images achieved some good shadow detail, but looked a bit grainy with some narrow horizontal banding. On plain paper, the printer's rich, waxy inks give a glossy photographic appearance, but the images appeared grainy and oversaturated. When we printed at higher quality settings on OKI's Premium White Gloss paper, we still saw banding patterns, unnatural colours, and some posterisation (lack of smooth gradient) in the darkest areas.

For maintenance, the top of the printer lifts to give easy access to the toner cartridges. OKI includes four cartridges, each rated for 1000 pages. Black cartridges rated at 2500 pages cost $46.20, while the three 2000-page colour cartridges cost $70.92 each. Adding to the operating costs, you must replace the four cartridge units every 15,000 pages; the black cartridges costs $55 and the colour cartridges cost $60.50 apiece.

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