Color Laser Printers at Bargain Prices

Printing Speed

Even though this is a one-pass printer, performance in monochrome was still better than in color (20 ppm compared to 12 ppm). Yet it tested well ahead of the other printers when printing color documents with several pages. It took barely over one minute to print our 13-page test document. Note, too, that the time for printing the first page was the shortest (9 seconds), whereas on the other hand the warm-up time at startup was the longest (more than two minutes).

Print Quality

While the LED technology is well suited to dark colors, in particular blues and greens, the lighter tints brought out quite a few defects. Graininess is quite visible - you can almost see the individual dots with the naked eye. The software "photo quality" mode built into the driver had no impact on the quality of the output and only slowed processing down.

Cost Per Page

If you count only the cost of the toner, the per-printed-page cost of the C3200 is about average. However if you have to replace the drum, it becomes more expensive, since each toner has its own drum. However Oki, aware of this problem, supplies a low-capacity toner cartridge with each drum, which cuts down on the expense.


If you aren't too much of a stickler for quality and you need a printer that's as much at home with monochrome as with color, the C3200 will do. It's true that its bulkiness and the sometimes-delicate management of consumables are not in its favor, but it proves that the LED technology remains very competitive compared to a laser printer.

  • chrisbak
    Your image (laser2.gif) is an excellent animation of an LED printhead in action. Can I use it in some material I am putting together for Xerox, or is there a copyright on it.

    Christine Baker