Oki MC851dn review

31 Jan 2012

An A3 colour laser MFP with a fair turn of speed, low running costs and plenty of features

Price when reviewed: 
2,330exc VAT
5

The MC851dn is the entry point to Oki’s new A3 colour laser MFP range for SMBs, but it’s still loaded with features. Its print engine has a true 1,200 x 600dpi resolution, and you get a 600dpi A3 colour scanner along with a 50-sheet ADF to feed pages through it. It has an integrated duplex unit, a 33.6Kbits/sec fax modem, and a 40GB hard disk for storing overlays, fonts and macros.

The intuitive control panel has a large LCD touchscreen, making it easy to run copies or scans. The latter can be sent to email, local and network PCs, or to a USB storage device inserted in the front port. Network scans use profiles that describe the destination system, the target folder and your choice of PDF, JPEG, XPS or TIFF formats. It’s easy to use, and we quickly sent scanned documents to a folder on a Windows 7 client over FTP and CIFS.

The internal hard disk is also used to automatically collate multiple copies of large documents, and you can spool confidential prints to it and hold them back until a PIN is entered at the printer to release them. Oki’s Storage Device Manager is used to remotely access the hard disk for managing its contents.

Using Oki’s Configuration Tool, you can create group phonebooks and fax speed-dial lists, as well as destination profiles with email addresses for scanned documents. After setting this up, we could scan documents and email them straight from the printer to selected recipients.

Oki MC851dn

With a local USB connection, you can use the ActKey utility to copy documents from the printer to a local folder. A system-tray monitor agent alerts clients when a fax has been sent or received, and the software package includes a direct-from-PDF print tool, as well as the Nuance OmniPage and PaperPort OCR and document management utilities.

We found mono A4 print speeds to be slightly below Oki’s claims of 22ppm for colour and 34ppm for mono, and they depend on paper orientation in the input tray. With the short side towards the paper path, our 34-page Word document took 1min 37secs for an average of 21ppm; with the paper turned lengthways across the tray, the same document took 1min 14secs for a speed of 28ppm. Colour speeds were right on the money, though: our 24-page A4 DTP document completed in 1min 2secs whatever the resolution, including the top ProQ2400.

Although we saw a noticeable cross-hatching effect in large areas of single colour, our test prints exhibited the classic vibrancy and high levels of detail we expect from Oki’s business LED printers. Colour scans aren’t to be sniffed at either, although the quality of mono scans of images had noticeable grain.

Finally, there are a lot of consumables to take into consideration, but running costs are still relatively low. An A4 colour page will cost 5.8p, and a mono A4 page a penny.

Oki has a well-earned reputation for delivering low-cost A3 MFP colour printers, and its latest doesn’t let the side down. This compact printer packs in the features, produces good quality prints and, at a shade under two grand, beats the competition on value.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,942
Price inc VAT £2,330
Performance 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 5

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 1200 x 600dpi
Integrated TFT screen? yes
Rated/quoted print speed 34PPM
Maximum paper size A3
Duplex function yes

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 1.0p
Cost per A4 colour page 5.8p

Power and noise

Dimensions 565 x 658 x 669mm (WDH)

Copier Specification

Copier rated mono speed 34cpm
Copier rated colour speed 22cpm
Fax? yes
Fax speed 33.6Kb/sec
Fax page memory 1,000

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured) 28.0ppm
Colour print speed 23.2ppm

Media Handling

CD/DVD printing? no
Input tray capacity 300 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? yes
Bluetooth connection? no
PictBridge port? no
Other connections Parallel

Flash media

SD card reader no
Compact Flash reader no
Memory Stick reader no
xD-card reader no
USB flash drive support? no

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported? yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported? yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported? no
Other operating system support Server 2003/2008; OS X 10.3.9+