The usual hype over print speeds is apparent on this machine, as with many others. OKI claims 32ppm for black pages and 30ppm for colour. While we wouldn't contest that colour prints are only marginally slower than black, the headline figures are quite a bit higher than you will see in typical use. Our five-page black text print, still more than the average length of European office documents, took 32 seconds, a speed of 9.38ppm, though increasing the job length to 20 pages more than doubled the speed. This is because the machine waits 15 to 20 seconds before starting to print the first page of any document.
Perhaps the most interesting result from this printer is its performance when duplexing. With most printers, duplex speed is around half that of single-sided print. Here, though, our 20 page, single-sided document took 1:03 to complete, a speed of 19.05ppm, while the same document printed duplex took just 1:08, still 17.65spm.
The C710dn uses an internal duplexer, so the paper doesn't have to be part-ejected from the top slot and reversed back into the machine. There is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't be set to duplex by default, for consequent paper savings.
The printer's default resolution of 600dpi is more than adequate to produce excellent black text which is crisp and clean, with a slight gloss to the characters. Colour graphics are bright and dense, though by default some colours, particularly greens and blues, come through dark compared with originals. There are also some noticeable registration problems, where black text over coloured backgrounds shows white halos around characters.
Our test photographic print, at the printer's maximum 600 x 1200dpi, looks very 'seaside postcard', with gaudy colours and quite a bit of missing detail in darker areas of the image. This is not the printer's strong suit.
There are four consumables required to keep the OKI C710dn going: toners, drums, fuser and transfer belt. The toner cartridges should be good for 11,000 and 11,500 ISO pages with, unusually, the colour cartridges having the higher capacity. Drums are good for 20,000 pages black or 15,000 pages colour and both the fuser and transfer belt are rated at 60,000 pages.
What all this means, apart from the fact that you'll have to keep an eye on consumables usage, is that a black page costs around 2.29p and a colour one 6.85p, both including 0.7p for paper. These costs, particularly colour, compare well with most of the competition, but are beaten by some Kyocera Mita machines.
Despite the setup problems we experienced, this is a good workgroup colour printer. Though not ideal for printing photos, it's pretty good at everything else and is one of the best machines for duplex print we've tested. Having four different consumables to consider could be logistically awkward, but they have long enough service lives for it not to be too much hassle.