Printing with LEDs

Printing with LEDs

Oki's C3400n is an A4-sized personal colour printer that uses single-pass digital light emitting diodes (LEDs), instead of a laser, which direct light onto a drum, to produce good quality printouts for a reasonable money outlay.

It's perfect for a small business that has large colour printing requirements, such as a PR or real estate agent's office, and maintaining it is fairly straightforward.

The four colour toner cartridges and the fuser unit slot in from the top, while the standard 250-sheet paper tray resides in the base of the unit. A multi-purpose paper tray allows you to manually feed thicker paper stock, or printing in duplex (printing on both sides of the paper). Unfortunately, an option for an automatic duplexer is not available.

The C3400n boasts USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet connections and it's a GDI printer, meaning it relies on the host PC to format documents before they can be printed. It has 64MB of RAM for large print jobs and can be upgraded to a maximum of 288MB, if 64MB doesn't meet your requirements.

As for speed, this printer is quite zippy. It took 26sec to print a three and a half-page Word document resplendent with colours and different sized fonts. Text quality was comparable to a laser printer: sharp and not overly rich. The same document without the formatting and colour printed out in 22sec.

Full-page colour photos printed out in 22sec and the image detail, while not super-sharp, produced images that are passable for brochures and presentations.

In fact, from a distance, photo printouts look quite good. It's only when you scrutinise them close up that you can make out colour banding and jagged edges.

Verdict: This printer is easy to install and use, plus produces good quality and speedy colour printouts that are perfect for a small office.

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