About 10 months back, when we were still doing news pieces on the printer industry and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), we did a piece that announced the launch of the OKI C712dn. The OEM, while launching the device, had categorically stated that it is designed to take away a business’s need to outsource its printing requirements. The OKI C712dn delivers through on that promise handsomely. It is, essentially, a colour printer that is capable of printing on a wide variety of media. This means that a business with this printer will be able to print its own marketing material.
The OKI C712dn, like all new offerings from the OEM, is based on the Digital 4 LED Full-colour Electrophotographic Printing Technology. However, even though the C712dn uses LEDs for imaging purposes, it remains classified as a laser printer. The C712dn is best suited for small to medium scale businesses with considerable and diverse printing needs. If your business prints a lot and particularly emphasises on marketing collateral type documents, then you’ll do well to consider the OKI C712dn as a potential purchase. Here is our review.
Strengths of OKI C712dn
The standard variant of the C712dn comes with a total capacity of 630 sheets split between a 530-sheet main tray and a 100-sheet autosensing multipurpose tray. However, OKI has provided the option of increasing this paper capacity to as high as 1,690 sheets.
If you need more than just 630-sheet paper capacity, you can actually increase it by getting two additional paper trays of 530 sheet capacity each. A total capacity of 1,690 sheets should be more than enough for any small to medium scale business, irrespective of how much they print on a daily basis.
The maximum monthly duty cycle of 60,000 pages back the total paper capacity of the OKI C712dn. In order to keep your device in optimum working condition, the OEM recommends that you print at least 6,000 pages per month.
Where this device really shines is the type of media it can handle. OKI has designed this printer for small to medium scale businesses as a replacement for third-party commercial printers. This means that it had to ensure that this machine can handle all types of media. Consequently, and this is where this device shines, the OKI C712dn can handle media ranging from A6 sheets to banners spanning 1.3 metres. In terms of cardstock, you can print up to 250 gsm on the C712dn.
The print speed of the OKI C712dn backs its paper handling capabilities as well. This device is quite fast with a rated print speed of 36 pages per minute (ppm) for monochrome prints and 34 ppm for colour prints.
Marketing materials, inherently, need to be of good quality because they represent the business and the brand. So, it would be quite counterproductive if the OKI C712dn couldn’t deliver good print output quality. Luckily, it maintains good standards with respect to output quality. The device uses micro-fine high definition toner along with a print engine of good maximum resolution to achieve good print quality. The OKI C712dn is rated to produce a maximum resolution of 1200 x 600 dots per inch (dpi).
Weaknesses of OKI C712dn
The OKI C712dn is a high-end device that looks to cater to a very specific need in a very specific type of audience. Products of this type tend to cost a little more than normal largely because of the unique features they offer. The C712dn is the same in this regard. Therefore, the biggest weakness of the OKI C712dn is its costs. This device is not only expensive to buy but also to run. Depending on offers and discounts, you’ll find the OKI C712dn to be priced anywhere between $1400 and $1500.
The running costs can also be a heavy burden to wear but you will have the option to do something about that. Every page printed by the OKI C712dn will cost you about 11.44 cents if you use cartridges manufactured by the OEM. Fortunately, you can bring down your running costs to as low as 8.96 cents per page by simply choosing to use compatible or generic cartridges manufactured by third-party or aftermarket manufacturers.
Costs, as you can see, can be managed with the OKI C712dn. There’s another problem with the OKI C712dn that is similar in nature i.e. a manageable flaw. This is the absence of wireless connectivity in the standard version of the machine.
You’ll be able to connect to this device through either the Ethernet port or the USB 2.0 port, both of which are standard components. However, if you need wireless connectivity, then you’ll have to order the optional wireless module with the printer. Wireless connectivity is a luxury option for most businesses, in our opinion. This is especially true with such large printing devices since it is unlikely that they’ll ever be moved. Since they don’t need to be moved often, Ethernet connectivity suffices in most scenarios. From this perspective, we don’t really see the absence of wireless connectivity in the standard variant of the OKI C712dn as a deal breaker. In terms of mobile compatibility, the C712dn supports Google Cloud Print and Air Print amongst other third-party services.
Key Features of OKI C712dn
The OKI C712dn is neither compact nor lightweight but that is to be expected for a printer that can manage such a wide array of media. The C712dn measures about 389mm high, 547mm deep, and 435mm wide, which gives it a decidedly squat appearance. The device also weighs quite a bit at 31 Kg. You’ll definitely need someone to help you move it. Plan accordingly.
On the top of the printer, you’ll find a control panel consisting of an LCD display screen and a number of buttons. These buttons can be useful for quickly accessing the menu and using the device. The buttons that are there on the control panel include “Power Save/Wake Up”, “Help”, “Online”, and “Cancel” along with navigation. You’ll also find two status lights for “Ready” and “Attention”.
A few features that make this printer a more resource efficient device have been incorporated by the OEM such as Deep Sleep mode, the Auto Off mode, the Toner Save mode and automatic duplexing. The first two help reduce energy consumption, while the last two help reduce toner and paper costs, respectively. The OKI C712dn’s print engine works on a 533 MHz processor, which is supplemented by a 256 MB RAM. The latter can be upgraded with optional components to 768 MB.
This combination of processor and RAM allows the OKI C712dn to deliver the first colour print in less than 9 seconds. If you print monochrome, you’ll get the first print in less than 8 seconds. This OEM has also tried to make the C712dn secure for workgroups by including a Private Print mode, compliance with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), and even the optional card release module. As it is, the OKI C712dn comes with a one year warranty but if you register your device, you can have this extended to three years for free.