The OKI C9650N is a large format colour laser printer marketed as a one-stop solution for in-house printing of both business documents and artwork. To that end, OKI has gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure that it meets the needs of its intended market.

We looked at the entry-level base unit – to which can be added a variety of paper trays and finishing units – so we couldn't examine the auto-duplexing capability of the OKI C9650N, as it is optional at this level.

The print engine – the physical mechanism inside any printer – is one factor that distinguishes one product from another. In common with other OKI printers, the OKI C9650N uses LED rather than laser technology.

The proponents of LED printing point out that LED printheads have fewer moving parts and are therefore more efficient in operation: this is the reasoning behind OKI's claimed performance figure of 36 pages per minute in colour for the OKI C9650N. In practice, the time taken to print 50 A4 copies of our Word document was, on average, 1 minute 45 seconds, giving a ‘real-world' result of around 29 pages per minute: still pretty respectable.

The trump card with the OKI C9650N, however, is its capacity for different weights of media: the side-mounted multi-purpose tray is capable of handling paper up to 300gsm. The OKI C9650N can also handle banners up to 1.2m long.

If LED printers can be claimed to be speedier, the trade-off is that, due to physical limitations – you can cram only a finite number of LEDs into a printhead array – definition tends to suffer in fine print. The OKI C9650N bears this out. On examination of our standard print resolution test, there was a general lack of sharpness in small print, together with a slight flattening out of the curves of the letter ‘S'. For most purposes this would be barely noticeable, but if you're regularly producing documents in which fine-print quality is critical, this should be borne in mind.

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OKI C9650N: Specs

  • 1,200 x 600dpi A3 colour LED printer
  • 36/40ppm colour/mono A4
  • 512MB RAM
  • parallel, USB gigabit ethernet
  • 530-sheet input tray
  • 230-sheet multipurpose tray
  • drivers for Windows 2000 onwards
  • 1,200 x 600dpi A3 colour LED printer
  • 36/40ppm colour/mono A4
  • 512MB RAM
  • parallel, USB gigabit ethernet
  • 530-sheet input tray
  • 230-sheet multipurpose tray
  • drivers for Windows 2000 onwards

OUR VERDICT

A versatile, efficient and well-priced business printer, the OKI C9650N doesn't produce the best print quality.

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