Oki MC860dn - compact A3 colour printer review

Oki’s new MC860dn delivers low running costs, good value and fast print speeds and is probably the smallest A3 colour laser MFP on the market.

Oki's software bundle includes the Actkey utility, which pulls documents directly from the printer to a local folder over a USB connection. A system tray tool alerts you when a print is completed or a fax has been received or sent and the package is rounded off with ScanSoft OmniPage SE 4 and PaperPort SE OCR and document management utilities. Oki also includes its PrintSuperVision tool, which installs a web server on your chosen management station from where you can remotely view and access all networked printers including those from other vendors.

Our performance tests showed the MC860dn delivering on all counts, with it producing a 34-page Word document in 61 seconds and tackling our 24-page heavy duty colour DTP document in 52 seconds. The latter took the same time on the General 600dpi and Fine 1,200 x 600 dpi driver settings and on the top interpolated ProQ2400 option it took a further seven seconds. A4 Copy operations are slower with a 12-page colour document taking 66 seconds from button press to final page for an average of 11ppm. Mono copies are much speedier with the same document reproduced in this mode in 45 seconds.

General colour output quality is very good with crisp, sharp text across a range of font sizes. Our colour test chart showed almost imperceptible stepping across colour fades and grey shades using different mixes of cyan, yellow and magenta were faithfully reproduced. Colour scans of reports are reasonably good if a little grainy, but quality does drop when scanning photos and particularly on mono scans.

Colour print output bears the characteristic vibrancy and high levels of detail we've seen with most of Oki's colour LED printers, so reports and A3 picture posters have that extra zing to make them stand out. We also found that the cross-hatch banding effect characteristic of this LED technology was almost unnoticeable.

There are consumables galore as you have toner cartridges, drum kits, fusers and transfer belts to replace. Mono cartridges are good for 9,500 pages, whilst colour ones last for 10,000 pages and adding everything together delivers a mono A4 page for just under a penny and a colour one at very reasonable 5.6 pence.

The MC860dn shows A3 colour MFPs don't need a huge amount of office space. Along with its compact design, it provides good overall output quality, delivers on its performance promises and compared with similar products from the likes of HP looks particularly good value.

Verdict

Colour A3 MFP printers can represent a significant outlay and the MC860dn is an affordable option for smaller businesses. It provides 4-in-1 functions in a remarkably compact unit, comes with a comprehensive range of print management tools and delivers good print speeds and low running costs.

SPECIFICATIONS Type: A3 colour LED printer Scanner/Copier: A3/A4 600dpi colour Print speeds: Claimed A4 - 34ppm mono/26ppm colour Resolutions: 600 x 600dpi, 1200 x 600dpi; ProQ2400 Processor: 500MHz Memory: 512MB Duplex: Yes Hard disk: 40GB Ports: Parallel; 2 x USB2; 2 x RJ-11 PSTN, 10/100 Ethernet Fax: 33.6Kbps Capacity: 300-sheet A3/A4 lower tray; 100-sheet MPT; 50-sheet ADF

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