The B400 series was released by Oki to make heavy-duty printing available to small and medium scale businesses at competitive costs. Before this series arrived, the majority of printing devices in this specific market segment were being beaten by economical inkjet devices. With the Oki B400 series, though, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) offered some great options to this specific target audience. The OKI B412DN, the printer we’ll be reviewing today, is an offering from this range.
The OKI B412DN is, technically, a laser-class printer. However, instead of using a laser as the light source, it uses LEDs. The Digital LED Electrophotographic Printing Technology inside this printer traces the transfers of toner to drum and paper with the help of LEDs as opposed to scanning lasers. Use of LED over laser has allowed this printer to be lighter and more energy efficient than conventional printers that use scanning lasers.
The OKI B412DN is a single function, monochrome laser printer that is targeted at small-sized workgroups or offices that have heavy duty printing requirements. Alternatively, this device can also prove to be handy for medium-sized workgroups or offices that have light printing requirements. The B412DN is a simple device, which means that it doesn’t put on airs through complicated features. Everything is about functionality and cost-effectiveness in the OKI B412DN. Here’s our review.
Strengths of Oki B412DN
Cost is what works best for the OKI B412DN. It is a device that you would want to get if you didn’t have enough money, to begin with, and if you wanted to save money on a regular basis. You should be able to get the OKI B412DN for just over $230 which is quite low compared to many of the competing products falling in the same market segment.
While the initial investment in the OKI B412DN is low, the device becomes really pocket-friendly when you start using it. You see, the running cost of the B412DN is one of the lowest in this class of products. It does differ on where you get your cartridges from, though. For example, if you use genuine or OEM cartridges only, then you can expect to spend about 2.90 cents for every page you print. You can lower this cost slightly to 2.69 cents per page by simply going for generic or compatible cartridges.
If the low cost per page doesn’t impress you, then you should remember that you can reduce paper costs with the OKI B412DN too. This printer has automatic duplexing as a standard feature which means that you can halve your paper costs and to your savings considerably.
The OKI B412DN offers all these savings without taking away from functionality. Generally, with economy devices, you find signs of cost-cutting on the construction material. This isn’t the case with the OKI B412DN, where the material used feels stout, sturdy, and durable.
These savings are important if you plan on doing some high volume printing with this device. If you do, paper handling matches the economic side well. The standard variant of the device comes with a paper handling capacity of 350 sheets split between a 250-sheet main paper tray and a 100-sheet autosensing multipurpose / override tray. This isn’t all, however. You can actually increase the paper capacity by opting in for the 530-sheet add-on paper tray. This takes the total possible paper handling capacity of this device to 880 sheets.
The print speed on the OKI B412DN is good too. Whichever competitor you compare this device’s print speed to; you’ll find 33 pages per minute (ppm) to be highly respectable. What adds the cherry to the cake of paper handling and print speed is monthly duty cycle. According to the OEM, the B412DN can handle up to 60,000 sheets per month.
Weaknesses of Oki B412DN
The biggest problem with the OKI B412DN and this is a result of cost-cutting, is the absence of wireless connectivity. The device comes with two connectivity options only, which are USB 2.0 and Ethernet. Wireless connectivity is offered by the OEM as an optional add-on for extra money. Even when you opt-in for this extra module, you only get wireless connectivity and not Wi-Fi Direct.
The absence of wireless connectivity comes with another problem i.e. limited mobile support. In the standard configuration, if you connect this machine to your computer via USB 2.0, you won’t be able to use mobile devices to print things. You would only be able to use mobile devices if the B412DN is connected to an Internet-enabled network through the Ethernet port or through the optional wireless module. The reason for this is that this device’s mobile support relies on cloud services. As to what it supports, you’ll find the usual suspects such as compatibility with Android devices, iOS devices, and some third party services.
While we’re on the subject of connectivity, we should also add that there are no memory slots on this device. This means that you can’t just walk up to this printer and print out stuff gathered on other devices.
We have a teeny-tiny bone to pick with output quality as well. Overall, the output quality of this laser printer is what you would expect from this price segment and product class. With a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi), the text output is very good, while graphics and images are poor as is the case with all monochrome laser printers. The problem we pinpointed was fine print. Small sized text printed with this device is very light. In fact, it is so light that it looks grey.
This is not a problem with text sized 9 points and above but the moment you touch 8 points or go below it, you’ll find it difficult to read the fine print. Usually, businesses don’t need this level of fine print on their documents. So, unless you’re one of those that do, the OKI B412DN should do a job for you.
Key Features of Oki B412DN
The OKI B412DN is a fairly compact device. Notably, it is probably the smallest in its product segment. It measures about 245mm in height, 364mm in depth, and 387mm in width. It is also quite light at only 13 Kg. This means that the OKI B412DN is capable of sharing a desk with you without causing you too much inconvenience. Just imagine being able to pick up your printed document in less than six seconds after giving the print command. The device takes five seconds to spit out the first printed page; by the way, the extra second is for you to move!
The print speed and first print times are a result of a 667 MHz processor accompanied by an internal RAM of 512MB. The control panel on the device is fairly simple on account of not having to accommodate a lot of features. It consists of a simple 2-line display screen, a navigation button, and four simple buttons.
Apart from this, there are a few other simplistic features that the OKI B412DN boasts of such as Encrypted Secure Print. This function allows print outputs to be delayed so that only the person who has given the command can see and collect the documents. There is also an Eco mode to help cut down power consumption costs further. The device comes with a 12-month Return to Base warranty.