Print speeds are closer to 10ppm and 3ppm, for black and colour pages, respectively, than OKI’s quoted 24ppm and 16ppm. The colour speed, in particular, looks very wishful. What’s more of a concern, though, is the warm-up time. If the C2520n has been in sleep mode, it takes over a minute for it to warm up, before the first page comes out. If the printer is in fairly regular use, this may not be a problem, but we think most owners will feel this warm-up wait quite often.
The quality of the prints the OKI printer produces is better than average, and black print is particularly good. All colours come out with slight gloss sheen, which gives black text a very precise, clean-cut appearance.
Colour, both in block graphics and photo output, is only fair. Quite a bit of stippling is noticeable in solid, non-primary colour areas and some unevenness is also evident. We saw loss of detail in darker areas of our test print. Comparing regular and photo enhanced prints, we could see little difference, perhaps a little extra detail.
It’s quite complicated to work out the costs of running this printer, as it has a number of different consumables, each with a different life cycle. The four toners have lives of 3,000 or 5,000, five per cent pages, depending on whether you chose standard or high-yield versions (standard yield parts are supplied with the printer).
You then have the image drum, which lasts 17,000 pages, the fuser unit, which lasts 45,000 pages and the transfer belt, which comes in at 150,000 pages. We disregard the cost of any consumable which lasts more then 100,000 pages, as this is typically outside the service life of an SME printer.
When you calculate these costs out, you get a black page at 1.72p and a 20 per cent colour page cost at 7.98p. While the black page cost is good, the cost of a colour page is high, when rival printers can manage up to 1.5p less.
ShopOki is currently offering a £60 rebate on the cost of the C5250n, which we’ve taken into account in the quoted street price of the machine. Even with this rebate, the printer doesn’t represent particularly good value for money. Unless you’re printing most of the time, the slow warm up could be a problem, too.