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There's more software to install with the B4540 MFP than normal, as it includes a complete version of PaperPort 8SE, as well as custom-written fax and monitoring utilities from OKI. You can also control it over a network, as the machine is fully Ethernet-compatible straight out of the box.
Printing to the B4540 MFP is a speedy affair, though as usual not as speedy as the manufacturer believes. We saw about seven pages per minute printing straight text, against a claimed maximum speed of 20 pages per minute. Our pages are probably more complex, but also more real-world, than those used by some test laboratories. We time print runs with the test machine fully warmed up. If this machine is in stand-by, you need to add around 20 seconds warm-up time.
Copying our five-page text document from the scanner’s auto sheet-feeder was impressively quick, as the device printed at the same time as it was scanning, taking just 40 seconds to complete.
Print quality, as from previous OKI mono LED printers we have tested, is very good. Text is dense and crisp with even fine detail accurately reproduced. The machine's standard resolution of 600dpi doesn't detract from good character formation, with very few artefacts. Business graphics output is also reasonable, though some areas of colour originals produce banding when printed out in greyscales. Photographic output is clean, though some dark grey areas of our test print were reproduced black.
The standard toner cartridge can print 6,000, five per cent cover pages, while the optional high yield version can produce 12,000. The drum is claimed to handle 20,000 pages, so you can expect a good few months printing before you need to replace consumables.
Using the high yield toner cartridge gives a cost per page of 1.91p, which is a little on the high side for a mono device, but nothing too extortionate.
This is a well-designed device for anybody who needs all the key business functions in one, albeit ungainly, unit. However, it’s spoiled by poor documentation which focuses far too heavily on its fax functions. Unfortunately, some of its more esoteric functions may be overlooked.