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Oki C5510n review: Oki C5510n

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MSRP: $1,099.00

The Good Lightning-fast monochrome and color scanning; high-quality black-and-white prints; network ready, expandable memory; clear control panel; low upkeep cost.

The Bad No built-in fax; color graphics print glitches; requires some assembly; as with other multifunctions, its paper capacity is small for heavy office traffic.

The Bottom Line This color multifunction is ultraspeedy for a workgroup, but its bulk and its color-printing problems make it less than ideal for a small office.

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6.1 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 7

Okidata Oki C5510n multifunction

The Okidata Oki C5510n multifunction is a workgroup color printer, scanner, and copier. Business-class color multifunctions such as this one recently became affordable for very small offices, but glitches in this Oki's color printing make it hard to recommend if you rely on that feature. Still, the C5510n prints excellent black text and graphics, and it zips through its tasks. This model lacks a fax machine, but its fast scanning might please your workgroup if you routinely send electronic images to clients via Web-based e-mail or FTP. Smaller businesses and home offices that need a fax machine and less robust printing and scanning speeds should look at the Canon ImageClass MF8170c or the HP Color LaserJet 2840. These rivals cost less, are easier to assemble, and deliver better color prints. The two-tiered Okidata Oki C5510n multifunction may remind you of a spaceship in a 1973 Star Trek episode. This putty-colored device stands 28 inches tall (with its paper support extended), 17 inches wide, and 22 inches deep, with a plastic-and-steel bracket to support its hefty 83 pounds.

You'll have to assemble it, but the C5510n is simple to set up; however, the Canon ImageClass MF8170c and the HP Color LaserJet 2840 are even less of a hassle. You must string a USB cord between the Oki C5510n's scanner and printer and plug in their separate power cords, but the ports are well labeled. You'll also have to pop the flatbed scanner on top with a pair of plastic struts. In the normal operating position, this attachment wobbles even when locked into place, but not enough to mar the output. You can lift up the scanner lid for thin books, but it doesn't detach completely. A generous 50-sheet automated document feeder (ADF) lets you copy a stack of pages.

The neatly designed control panel has a spacious, green-backlit LED with well-spaced scrolling arrow keys and mode buttons. The 250-sheet output tray on the top and the 300-page paper tray on the bottom are roomy for a multifunction, but you can't add more capacity. The alternative media tray accepts envelopes or thick pages and can hold up to 100 sheets of plain paper.

The Okidata Oki C5510n is compatible with Windows 98 on up and features built-in Ethernet connectivity for your office network. Because this model doesn't fax, its makers hope to attract businesses that send documents to customers or satellite offices via e-mail and FTP servers. You can access up to 100 e-mail addresses and can also tweak, reduce, and enlarge images from the control panel. The printer comes with 96MB of RAM, which you can upgrade to 288MB for a whopping $779.

The C5510n's flatbed 600dpi scanner is good for text, but it's not equipped to manage professional graphics files. You get ScanSoft's PaperPort 9.0 software for scanning, manipulating, and sending files from your computer; you also get ScanSoft's TextBridge Pro Millennium optical-character-recognition (OCR) app.

If you use high-capacity toner cartridges, Oki estimates you'll pay merely 1.2 cents for a page of black text and 8.5 cents for color. By comparison, the Canon ImageClass MF8170c costs 1.7 cents per grayscale page and 9.6 cents per color-text page. Okidata estimates that the C5510n will print 420,000 pages over a five-year life span.

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