Four new OKI printers are now available to buy; the C110 and C130n colour laser printers and the MC350 and MC360 colour multifunction printers, or the C100 and MC300 series. The C100 series are “mono printers with the ability to print in colour when required” and the MC300 are “high performance A4 colour MFPs”. Let’s see.
The MC350 replaces the C3520 3-in-1 printer while the MC360 replaces the C3530 4-in-1. On paper, little seems to have changed in terms of specification, and print speed remains the same in the two new models. However, buyers will be pleased with the fact that the MC350 and MC360 are cheaper than their predecessors. In addition, the new printers use slightly larger toner cartridges, which give them lower running costs as well as increasing the intervals between toner changes. OKI is continuing to offer cashback and a three year warranty with its printers, which is just as well since it faces some stiff competition, particularly from the Ricoh SP C232SF. Mac users looking to integrate their office workflow will have to look elsewhere, though – the M300 series are compatible with Mac OS but a closer examination of the spec sheet reveals that this only applies to the print function.
The C110 is an entry-level colour LED printer for just over £100 with basic functionality; the C130n has a much larger 256MB memory, enhanced resolution, PCL and Postscript 3 emulation and network capability, making it suitable for small workgroups. The combination of enhanced features and a lower purchase price make the C130n an attractive alternative to the C3450n, although the new printer is much slower at printing in colour with maximum speed of just five pages per minute.
OKI is marketing the C100 series as mono printers with the option of colour printing, rather than colour printers. Will the distinction matter to most customers? Probably not but, if you’re only printing in colour occasionally, the slow colour print speed isn’t likely to be an issue. The C110 is the cheapest colour laser printer on the Printware website, with the exception of the Samsung CLP-310 which is slower and more expensive to run. The C130n’s closest rival is the popular Xerox Phaser 6130 which could prove tough to beat – the OKI has a larger memory and a three year warranty but the Xerox prints faster in colour and is cheaper to run.
Of the four new printers, the one that looks most likely to do well is the C110 – plenty of home and small office users like the idea of owning a colour laser printer for a little over £100 (even if it does mean paying nearly £300 for a set of toners). Further up the range OKI faces stronger competition and the limited functionality of the MC300 series in a Mac OS environment won’t help.
by Anthony Morgan