- Review Price: £846.00
Not to be outdone by Epson and HP, OKI has launched a multi-function print, scan and copy device built around a colour LED engine. OKI has always used hi-intensity LED light rather than a laser beam, as it’s more compact and easier to control, but the device addresses the same colour office all-in-one market as Epson’s Aculaser CX11N and the Color LaserJet 2280 from HP. Both of which we reviewed recently.
OKI’s machine starts by being a good deal more expensive than either of its two competitors, coming in £250 more than the Epson and a full £300 higher than the HP. Interestingly, though, the C5510MFP is available for €854 in Germany – yes, that’s euros – which is about £570. OKI claims this is a launch price only and it is offering either an extended three year warranty or a spare set of toner cartridges in the UK.
The C5510MFP is a C5000 colour LED printer with a 600dpi flat-bed scanner on top. Nearly all control comes from the scanner section, which sports a two-line, sixteen character, back-lit LCD display, colour and mono copy buttons and a number of preset enlargements and reductions for copying.
There’s also a function to send single or multi-page scans directly to a PC via a network – the machine comes network-enabled as standard. The flatbed scanner is fitted with a 50-sheet auto document feeder and a cunning magnetic closure, so documents stay put when being scanned.
At the front is a fold down multi-purpose tray for special media, which can take up to 100 sheets, and there’s a pull-out tray below that which takes a further 300 sheets of A4 paper. At the back are sockets for both USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections.
Putting this machine together is not a trivial exercise. If you buy from a dealer and they offer to set it up for you, accept. Once you’ve fixed the balancing feet on the bottom of the printer, mounted the scanner unit on top and locked it in place, you have to start feeding mains cables round, clipping PSUs to the back and connecting cables to link the two parts together.
The printer is supplied with all its consumables in place, but you have to free off each of the toner cartridges and un-chock the developer drum before you can get down to printing. To maintain the device, you need to buy toner cartridges, drum, fuser and transfer belt, all at different intervals. Access is good, though, as the whole of the top cover, with the scanner attached, folds up to the vertical.
Software installation is a doddle. Insert the driver CD and plug in the USB cable, Windows detects both scanner and printer and copies what it needs across. OKI supplies two colour-matching utilities, along with a copy of PaperPort, so you can tweak the colours it produces to be closer to what you see on the screen.
Print times depend very much on whether the printer’s been in power saving mode. If so, it takes around one minute 15 seconds to warm up before printing starts. After that, you’ll get a five page text document in just over half a minute and a page of mixed text and colour business graphics in just 23 seconds. Our 5 x 3in photo took 26 seconds, the same time it took to copy our text and graphics page from the scanner.
Print quality is good, though not up with the leaders in colour laser technology. The latest Canon engine, for example, as used in HP’s Colour LaserJet 2820, did a much more accurate job of printing our test photo. The colours here are all too vivid, making it look a little like a retouched postcard. You can modify the output with the colour matching utility, or course, but it would be good to have something closer to lifelike from the start.
The price of the C5510MFP is higher than its main rivals, so you might hope to recoup some of that in consumable costs. There are a lot of parts that need periodic replacement on this machine, with the toner cartridges lasting 3,000 pages – 5,000 pages for the high yield versions – the drums going for 17,000 pages, the fuser lasting 45,000 pages and the transfer belt a whopping 150,000 pages. You might well consider the transfer belt a lifetime component, and it only makes a cost difference of around 0.05p per page, anyway.
Adding up all the costs gives a five per cent black page cost of 1.73p and a 20 per cent colour page cost of 8.25p. The black cost is good, as low as many mono-only lasers, but the colour cost is around 0.75p per page higher than the HP Color LaserJet 2820.
The C5510MFP feels like a serious piece of business equipment, despite the rather messy cabling at the back. Extra features, such as its built-in network connection and ability to send scanned documents to IP addresses will be useful in a networked business and paper handling options are better than either its Epson or HP rivals.
Score in detail
Print Speed 9
Print Quality 7