12 Color Laser Printers Explored

OKI Printing Solutions C3400n

The OKI C3400n is a new offering that appeared early in 2007, replacing the older C3200n at about the same price point: it's available at major outlets like Staples for under $400. The unit steps back a bit from the C3200n's paper handling capabilities, in that it offers only a single-sheet slot feed in place of a 100-sheet manual tray, and downsizes the internal paper tray from 300 to 250 sheets. It's a relatively compact color laser, with dimensions of 16.7" x 22.1" x 13.6" (40 cm x 52.8 cm x 34.2 cm), and a weight of 44 lbs (20 kg).

The OKI C3400n employs a basic cube-shaped design in off-white and grey.

The C3400n might more correctly be called an LED printer rather than a laser printer, because it uses four LED arrays (CMYK) to charge the drum and lay toner down on the page for printing. Like other OKI printers, the unit also relies on a Windows GDI driver so that rendering of printer languages like PostScript or PCL (and sometimes even PDF) is handled on the PC rather than in the printer. Even so, print performance on this unit is pretty good: test prints of text pages generally measure out at 15 ppm (25% less than the rated 20 ppm maximum rating from OKI) and color pages at over 5 ppm (about 25% of the 16 ppm maximum rating) on plain paper at default resolution and quality. That rate drops by 50% when printing best quality on glossy paper.

Text output from the C3400n is generally sharp and clear, though some minor jaggies do appear for large font output (36 point and higher). Line art sometimes shows horizontal banding for blocks of closely spaced parallel lines, and grayscale images sometimes appear a bit grainy with similar banding effects. Color output is also sharp and clear for documents, but images sometimes look a little grainy or oversaturated. At the price you pay for this device, however, output quality is pretty darn good.

No duplexing unit is available for the C3400n, which comes equipped with 32 MB RAM, upgradeable to 288 MB with the addition of a single 144-pin 256 MB SDRAM module that will set you back between $110 and $170.

Consumables come in two different sizes: standard capacity cartridges go for $50 for black and $57 for each CMY color for 1,500 and 1,000 pages respectively, while high capacity cartridges go for $70 for black and $100 for each CMY color for 2,500 and 2,000 pages respectively. The image drums must be replaced every 15,000 pages as well (and include a standard capacity toner cartridge): black costs $50, and CMY color each cost $60. Our sense is that consumable costs for the OKI 3400n are higher than for most of the other color lasers covered in this story.

  • gorbehnare
    I was kind of disappointed to see this article completely ignores that these printers employ different Colour Laser printing technologies. In terms of the cost of ownership and cost of print per page different technologies make a huge difference.

    This information can be found anywhere and this article is only good as a list of products that are available in the market and nothing more.
  • exceltoner
    Thank you for info. Do you know if this printer is compatible with a Mac?

    toner cartridge
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