Review Price £848.86
OKI's C710dn is a workgroup colour LED printer, designed for reasonably heavy use with five or six people sharing the machine. It can be connected by Ethernet, USB or parallel ports and comes complete with a duplexer for double-sided print.
The C710dn is designed with a linear engine, with each of four drum and toner cartridges positioned one behind the other. OKI uses high-resolution LED illumination in its drums, so there's no laser mechanism. You'd think this would reduce the size of the machine, but in fact it's quite bulky against some of its competitors.
The front panel includes a bitmapped, mono LCD with a good backlight, which can show up to 4 rows of 16 characters. To the right are the usual menu controls, while to the left are buttons for the help function and to show any error messages. At the extreme left is a large button with an indent, so it looks as if it should rotate, but is in fact the cover release, so you can get at the consumables.
At the top of the front panel is a pull-down shelf, which becomes the multipurpose feed for up to 100 sheets of special media. Below this is a large 550-sheet main tray. It's good to see a tray which can take a full ream of paper at a time.
Hardware installation should have been easy, but a couple of things got in the way. For a start, you have to remove each of the combined drum and toner units to pull off two pieces of protective film around the drums. When we removed the black unit, holding by the handle on the toner cartridge, and were in the process of pulling the film off, the drum unit dropped off the toner cartridge, depositing large amounts of toner all over our test bench and PC keyboard. The lesson is to hold each cartridge unit carefully.
Then there's software installation. You load the drivers and the OKI wizard informs you that the Windows New Hardware wizard will start. It doesn't say if you should proceed with it or cancel it, which is typical with printer installations. We went through the New Hardware wizard, which didn't seem to know the drivers had been installed, or where to find them. Eventually, we got it sorted, but more instruction from OKI would definitely be a bonus.
The printer comes with both PCL and PostScript drivers for Windows and OSX, though no mention is made of Linux or UNIX support.