Oki – C3300n review

budget colour page printer for workgroups
Photo of Oki – C3300n
£300

Not strictly speaking a colour laser printer, OKI’s latest workgroup C3300n colour printer has a 1,200 x 600dpi resolution and, like many of its siblings, uses LED technology to print. This achieves much the same effect as a laser printer only with generally faster print times and, it has to be said, lower print quality.

The major difference between laser and LED printers lies in the first stage of printing. Instead of using a laser beam sweeping the page, the LED process uses an array containing thousands of light-emitting diodes to sweep an entire line at the same time. This leads to fast print times and more reliability, as LED printers tend to have fewer mechanical parts.

The C3300n is a single-pass printer. This means that all four print colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK) are in a straight line and the printer prints all four colours in one go.

Despite being a single-pass printer it prints faster in mono (16ppm) than in colour (12ppm), quoted speeds that were borne out by our testing. This is because the printer has been designed so that the colour printing components can be moved out of the way while printing in mono, allowing for faster speed. Powering the print engine is a 200MHz processor backed by 32MB of memory.

The downside of this fast speed is that image quality tends to suffer, particularly when it comes to colour photos, which look rather drab and washed out.

Although designed as a workgroup printer, the OKI C3300n is smaller than most; 372 x 478 x 290mm. This means it’s also suited to smaller offices and home offices. Fully loaded up with cartridges it weighs around 21kg.

As for paper handling, the input tray holds up to 250 sheets while the output tray holds 150 sheets. As standard the C3300n comes with a USB 2.0 port and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet adapter for connectivity, which should be enough for most purposes.

The standard black toner cartridge is good for 1,000 pages (at 5 percent coverage) and costs £17.90 plus VAT, while all the colour cartridges cost £25.06 plus VAT. The image drums for each cartridge last for 15,000 pages with a replacement costing £21.49 plus VAT. Alternatively you can buy the toner and the drum in packs; £91 and £88 plus VAT respectively.

The C3300n is compatible with Windows and Mac (OS 9, PowerPC 10.2+, OS X 10.4) but not Linux.

Company: Oki

Contact: 01753 819 819


Verdict
A well priced colour laser printer that is ideal for smaller offices who need fast colour printing without worrying too much about the ultimate in image quality.