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Colour lasers are a mainstay of business computing, but the majority of these are A4 devices, because the majority of paper is A4. However, there are good reasons to go one size up from this, to A3, to produce posters, proofs, even to fold pages in half for A4 publications and the C8600 is OKI's cheapest answer to these needs, though the term cheap is relative.
The C8800 has very similar lines to the 8600, but with increased width and depth. The 300 sheet main paper tray is supplemented by a 100-sheet, multi-purpose tray and A4 paper is loaded in landscape mode and printed sideways.
Full size A3 sheets can be loaded in the same paper tray, though not at the same time. OKI has designed a nifty drum indicator into the front edge of the paper tray, so that when you select to show a particular paper size, contacts behind the tray let the printer know what's loaded, too.
The two-line, backlit LCD display is coupled to a set of six operating buttons and two indicators, including a usefully bright attention light. At the back are sockets for USB 2, parallel and network connections, as Ethernet is standard on the C8800.
Although all the consumables come pre-installed in this printer, you have to remove the four, separate image drums and take out packing pieces and protective sheets, before reinserting them and clipping a toner cartridge onto each.
Software comprises the printer driver and a useful swatch utility, so you can compare colours on-screen with those produced by the printer. The driver includes support for watermarks and overlays and printing up to 16 pages per sheet.
Printing times for the C8800 are quite quick, though if the machine has been asleep, you could be waiting for it to adjust density, colour or temperature for up to a minute before feeding the first page. The display shows a pseudo-technical ADJUSTING TEMP message, when it means warming up.
OKI quotes print speeds for A4 and A3 pages, claiming 32ppm and 17ppm for black pages and 26ppm and 15ppm for colour ones. From this, you can see that this in-line printer doesn't have to make multiple passes to print colour.
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