The C821n brings A3 colour printing within the budgets of SMBs, without compromising print quality.
Review Date: 3 Nov 2010
Author: Dave Mitchell
|Overall Rating: |
Features & Design:
Value for Money:
Oki has been driving down costs for large format printing for a while, and its C821n sets a new record. A price of just over £800 makes it the least expensive A3 colour laser on the market, and an affordable option for smaller businesses.
The C821n uses the same chassis as the Recommended C810n, so it's also one of the smallest A3 printers. For colour printing it isn't as fast as the C810n with an A4 speed of 22ppm, but mono A4 printing is the same at 32ppm..
Although there are plenty of consumables, running costs look good: a colour A4 page costs 7.4p and a mono page 1.2p. Alas, along with most other printer vendors, Oki ships the printer with part-filled starter cartridges, making initial costs much higher.
The toner cartridges sit in-line under the lid, allowing the C821n to offer more versatile media-handling capabilities. The rear slot and multipurpose tray at the front creates a flat paper path, allowing the printer to handle 220gsm stationery and banners up to 1.2m long.
Oki has a keen eye on power consumption, claiming a draw of less than 17W in sleep mode; in our tests, the printer pulled an average of only 15W in this mode.
The C821n has a faster processor and more base memory than the C810n. In our performance tests this extra power meant the time to first page was faster, rarely dropping below 15 seconds. However, the printer did come up short for A4 mono print speeds. These can vary depending on the paper orientation: with the short side towards the paper path, our 32-page Word document took 1min 32secs for an average of 21ppm; with the paper turned lengthways across the tray, the same document took 1min 6secs for a speed of 29ppm.
Colour print speeds were better, with our 24-page A4 DTP document completed at 1,200dpi in 59 seconds. The hardware came into play here too, as moving to the interpolated 2,400dpi setting saw no change in colour speeds, whereas the C810n dropped to 17.5ppm. We also found the quoted A3 speeds of 17ppm for mono and 12ppm for colour achievable at all resolutions.
Output quality doesn't suffer in the drive to cut costs, with the C821n delivering the same vibrancy as that of Oki's LED technology. Stepping across complex fades in our colour test chart was almost non-existent, and grey shades using different mixes of cyan, yellow and magenta showed only a slight cyan colour cast. The level of detail in photos was extremely good, with the rich colour saturation making them stand out. Our A3 posters packed a real punch, but if it's all too much for your eyes you can play around with the various driver colour controls.
Although A4 mono speeds were slightly below those quoted, we'd be niggardly if we took the C821n to task for this. Colour speeds are better than Oki claims, output quality and running costs are very good, and no other vendor can match the C821n for value.
|Speed Monochrome||Up to 32ppm Mono Print|
|Printer Resolution||2400 dpi Print|
|Speed Colour||Up to 22ppm Colour Print|
|Double Sided Printing||Automatic Double Sided Printing|
|First Page||9.5 Seconds First page|
|Product Group Output||A3|
|Interface Type(s)||USB, Network & Parallel|
|Processor||PowerPC750CL 700MHz Processor|
|Memory (Maximum)||256MB (Max 768MB) RAM|
|Operating Systems Supported||Windows & Mac Compatible|
|Paper Handling Input 1||300 Sheet Input Tray|
|Paper Handling Input 2||100 Sheet Multi-Purpose Input Tray|
|Additional Paper Tray||optional 2 x 530 sheet|
|Maximum Duplex Paper Weight||105gsm|
|Maximum Input Capacity||1460 Sheets|
|Maximum Paper Size||A3|
|Maximum Paper Weight||220gsm|
|Paper Size||A3, A4, A5, A6, B4, B5|
|Paper Trays (Standard/Maximum)||2 (4)|
|Monthly Duty Cycle||75,000|
|Recommended Max Print Volume||5000 Pages/Month|
|Mono or Colour Printer||Colour|
|Dimensions||345mm (H) x 485mm (W) x 634mm (D) - Weight 40kg|
|Environmental||Operating temperature 10 to 32C - Humidity 20 to 80%|
|Product Type||A3 Laser Printer|
|Carton Dimensions||76.7cm (W) x 59.5cm (D) x 49.7cm (H) - Weight 45.7kg|
|Colour Toner Life||7,300 Pages|
|Drum Life||20,000 Pages|
|Fuser Unit Life||100,000 Pages|
|Mono Toner Life||7,000 Pages|
|Emulations||PCL 6, PCL5c, PostScript 3 emulation, SIDM, PDF Direct Print v1.5|
|Software Included||Color Correct, OKI LPR, PrintSuperVision.net3, Swatch Utility, Template Manager, Web Driver Installer, WebPrint3, Print Control Server, Print Control Client, Print Control Report Tool, Storage Device Manager, Gamma Utility, Profile Assistant, PDF Direct Utility, Color Access Policy Manager|
|In The Box||OKI C821dn colour printer, AC Cable (UK), CD/DVD (including Software/ Utilities/ Drivers and User Manuals), Setup Guide, CMYK Image Drums and CMYK Toners = 1250 pages|
**Page yields are declared by the manufacturer in accordance with ISO/IEC standards or occasionally estimated based on 5% per page coverage. Yields will vary greatly depending on image, area coverage, print mode and environmental conditions.
Most items are shipped to you via ‘Next Working Day’ courier service. The cut-off for next working day delivery is 4:30pm. In the event of an item not being available via this service, we will endeavour to contact you at the earliest opportunity.
We also deliver to the Channel Islands, Scottish Islands, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Eire. Areas such as the Scottish Highlands or where a body of water is crossed are subject to a 2-3 working day delivery time.
Please note, we are always charged a levy by the courier if an area of sea is crossed. For our full list of delivery charges please click the following link: Delivery Charges
No guarantees are given for next day delivery. However, our mission is to achieve this where possible.
Even on ink and toner cartridges!