Another interesting difference between the Epson, Konica Minolta and OKI printers is their rated speeds. The first two reckon their printers can touch 34ppm, while OKI is a little more modest, at 30ppm. Our five page text and text and graphics prints only gave the OKI a top speed of 18ppm, but since it's a workgroup printer, we ran the 20 page test, too, which gave 25ppm. This is because the fixed print preparation time is a smaller proportion of the whole print job on the 20-page test; if we ran a 50-page test, we'd get an even faster time, possibly approaching 30ppm.
The reason we don't use longer documents for speed testing is that we don't believe the majority of print jobs in typical office environments run to that length. Office document length still averages around five pages and most multiple copies are still in the three to five range.
Print quality is very good. Text characters are exceptionally well formed. Even though the printer's default resolution is 600dpi, you'd be hard pressed to spot a flaw in normal viewing. Greyscale graphics are also well reproduced and the printer doesn't get easily confused by the translation from colours to greys. There's little banding and only the faintest hint of blotchiness in some darker tints.
The reproduction isn't quite as good when printing photo images at the top, 1,200dpi resolution. While the varying tint in areas of sky is well handled, there's some apparent banding. Given that photos are only a small part of the print mix a typical office laser will see, the print quality is well above average, overall.
The 11,000 page drum and toner cartridge is the only quoted consumable in this printer, so even in a busy office, you won't be replacing it that regularly. OKI Online sells it for £116, giving a page cost of 1.88p, a bit on the high side and around 0.1p higher per page than the Konica Minolta PagePro 4650EN cost. OKI doesn't quote the fuser as a consumable, either, where KM does, but since it has a life of 200,000 pages, we think it's reasonable to consider it a lifetime component.
It's hard to justify the price difference between the OKI B6250 and the equivalent models sold by the other two suppliers. The others have networking built in, but OKI sells the B6250n, which includes Ethernet and sells at £371, still around 25 per cent cheaper than its rivals. The OKI printer costs 0.1p per page more to run than the Konica Minolta, by our calculations, so that may sway you if your printer will be very heavily used.