OKI is a relative newcomer to the Mac print market, and the C8800n is one of the first models to include Mac driver support. Physically it’s big and heavy – at 40kg, it’s not designed for someone working at home. It’s also an A3 printer. A4 support is of course included, although it’s slightly confusing because paper is loaded in landscape mode and selected manually on the tray using a special dial arrangement. Physically this is a flatbed rather than a vertical printer, with the four-toner assemblies laid out horizontally. This offers some advantages for both speed and colour registration and accuracy, at the expense of a wider footprint.
Although it looks sleek and curvy, ergonomically the OKI is average, with an unusually complicated arrangement of fold-out trays in addition to the standard paper cassette. There’s a single-line backlit LCD and a minimal collection of buttons that offer a small window into a complex menu maze. As with most printers, there’s very little that needs to be changed, so most users are likely to ignore the panel altogether, and access the printer remotely. Connectivity includes USB and Ethernet, as well as a legacy parallel port. Running costs are also comparatively low, and if you do tens of thousands of pages a month you’ll actually save money against the initial very high purchase cost.
Print speeds are blisteringly fast, with very swift time to first page, and a rapid 27ppm in colour. Print quality isn’t the best you can get, but it’s still very good, with intense saturated colours. In fact they’re subtly exaggerated, and in our test print some fine detail was lost in photographic areas. This could probably be remedied with some profiling or other tweaking.
And then there’s the price, which is spectacularly high. At £1,745 you won’t be buying this printer as an impulse purchase.
The OKI C8800n offers excellent technology and performance. Its combination of blisteringly fast output, high print quality and A3 support is hard to beat, but the price matches the speed, and only very dedicated corporate users can afford to consider it seriously.