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Oki C5510n review: Oki C5510n


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.

6.1

Oki C5510n

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.
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.

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.

Speed
The Okidata Oki C5510n has the fastest multifunction scanner we've seen to date in CNET Labs. This machine scanned our color-graphics test document in less than six seconds, which translates to 10.6 pages per minute (ppm). Competitors clocked an average of 2.5ppm--more than four times slower. The C5510n's grayscale test scans were even zippier.

The C5510n was also no slouch as a printer, rolling out black text at 13.5ppm--better than the Canon ImageClass MF8170c's 7.74ppm. This Oki printed color graphics at 8.83ppm, even faster than color text. Black graphics printed at an impressive 13.43ppm, again outstripping competitors.

CNET Labs' color laser multifunction speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Grayscale scan  
Color scan  
Color graphics  
Grayscale graphics  
Grayscale text  
Okidata Oki C5510n multifunction
13.66 
10.6 
8.83 
13.43 
13.52 
HP Color LaserJet 2840
2.95 
2.97 
2.84 
9.24 
12.06 
Canon ImageClass 8170c
2.86 
2.83 
3.43 
10.79 
7.74 

Quality
The Okidata Oki C5510n multifunction turned in a mixed quality performance in CNET Labs' printing tests. Black-text prints were terrific and sharp even at small sizes, and grayscale graphics displayed nearly perfect gradients and good detail. Color prints were another story, with oversaturated and mismatched colors. In some cases, this printer failed to color inside the lines, and it spliced red into orange and yellow. When we investigated further by printing images of Impressionist paintings from the Web, the prints looked vivid and lacked obvious errors. Our color and grayscale test scans were sharp and clear, with nicely balanced contrast. Colors were a bit dull but easy to perk up with the bundled software.

CNET Labs' color laser multifunction quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Grayscale scan  
Color scan  
Color graphics  
Grayscale graphics  
Grayscale text  
Canon ImageClass 8170c
Good 
Excellent 
Good 
Excellent 
Excellent 
HP Color LaserJet 2840
Good 
Fair 
Good 
Good 
Excellent 
Okidata Oki C5510n
Good 
Good 
Fair 
Excellent 
Excellent 

Click here to learn more about how CNET Labs tests printers.

The guides and the manual included with the Okidata Oki C5510n multifunction are clear, but we'd like to see just one comprehensive manual instead of two CDs and a pair of printed guides. The support area of the Oki Web site offers helpful information about consumables and accessories, as well as drivers, manuals, specs, and a knowledge base. For on-the-spot assistance, you can stick the included Handy Reference guide onto the printer's cover.

This multifunction is covered by a one-year limited warranty with overnight exchange for defective units and a five-year limited warranty for the LED printheads. Toll-free tech support is available 24/7.

6.1

Oki C5510n

Score Breakdown

Design 5Features 7Performance 6Support 7