Oki C321dn review - Affordable colour laser printer

Oki’s C321dn is one of the most affordable colour laser printers currently available, with a number of online stores selling it for around £220.00. It’s a fairly basic model, as you might expect, but it provides good performance and print quality, along with moderate running costs.

The C321dn provides USB and Ethernet ports for connecting to your Mac or to your office network, but there’s no wifi, no support for AirPrint – and not even an app for iOS devices. However, it provides two-sided printing, and has a 250-sheet paper tray along with a second multi-purpose tray that can hold another 100 sheets. The maximum monthly duty cycle is 30,000 pages, which should be enough for most small business.

Print quality is very good, with crisp, black text even at small point sizes. Colour graphics were bold and colourful, and benefitted from a glossy sheen that helps to give colour documents a professional-looking finish. That glossy finish also helped when printing photos, and while we certainly wouldn’t describe it as a photo-printer you should be able to get decent results when printing small photos in brochures or presentation slides.

Print speed is also good for such an inexpensive printer. We got 20 pages per minute for mono printing, compared to Oki’s estimate of 22ppm, so the C321dn can certainly churn out text documents as fast as any of the more expensive printers in this group. Its performance for colour printing was more modest – 12ppm compared to Oki’s quoted 20ppm – but that should still be adequate for most small businesses, and the high quality of the colour output did stand out in this group.

OUR VERDICT

The only minor disadvantage is that running costs are a little above average. Oki’s toner cartridges are only available in one size, but we’ve seen a multi-pack with all four cartridges selling online for about £235.00. That will allow you to print 2,200 black pages at around 2.6p per page, and 1500 colour pages at 11.7p per page. Those costs aren’t excessive by any means, but they’re not the best in this group, so the C321dn is perhaps most suitable for people who do need high quality output for their documents, but only in relatively modest volumes.

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