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OKI has a smaller presence in the UK than some of the big names in office printing, but makes a good range of mono and colour laser printers and multi-functions. The C5600n is intended for small workgroups or a small office of half a dozen or so.
This is an in-line colour laser, which means paper is drawn from the 300 sheet paper tray, or 100 sheet multipurpose tray (a bit fiddly to fold out into position) and only makes a single pass through the printer. The image is transferred from a transfer belt, where it has been made up from all four colours in one process. This technique has the advantage of producing faster colour prints, but it does mean the machine has a comparatively large footprint on the desk. Paper exits to the top surface of the C5600n and the output tray is good for jobs of up to 400 sheets.
OKI is the only commercial printer company to use strips of high-resolution LED lights, rather than a laser beam, to define the image on its light-sensitive drums. For all practical purposes, print quality is very little different between the two types of device and the LED mechanism is certainly simpler to implement.
The control panel is well laid out and has the usual array of buttons for navigating its menu system. The two-line LCD panel has a good backlight, so you can read it in most ambient light conditions. At the back are sockets for both USB 2.0 and Ethernet, as this printer comes network-enabled as standard.
Although the consumables in this machine are pre-installed, you have to remove each toner and drum unit in turn to pull off packing tapes and pull out a chock from the transfer belt, which is fiddly.
As well as the printer driver, which is well appointed, there are separate utilities for setting up the colour and for printing web pages, so they fit the width of an A4 sheet. Epson provides a web print utility with its printers, too, but we fail to see why this simple and really useful function isn't built into Windows. Extra point to OKI.
There's a 50 second warm-up period, if the printer has been idle for any length of time, during which time the status display shows a rather cute ‘Adjusting Temp’ message, rather than the more accurate ‘Warming Up’. Once warm, prints appear promptly after a few seconds and the machine managed our five-page text document in 22 seconds. This gives it a real-world, black text speed of 13.6ppm, and the colour print speed of 11.5ppm is not much slower. While, as usual, these results don't bear much resemblance to the quoted speeds of 32ppm and 20ppm, respectively, they're very reasonable for a printer in this price bracket.
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