We’ve been reviewing OKI printing devices at a good clip of one per month lately. In December last year, we reviewed the feature-rich mono MFP OKI MB472DNW while in January we reviewed the OKI B820N, an A3 printer with A4 capabilities. This time out also, we’ll be reviewing an A3 printer from OKI. The OKI MC853DN is a multifunction A3 colour laser printer that has been aimed at Small to Medium scaled Enterprises (SMEs).
While the OKI MC853DN is classified as a laser printer, it is in reality based on the Digital 4 LED Full-colour Electrophotographic Printing Technology. Being a multifunction printer, it offers users with four core functions along with a number of supplementary features. The core functions, like in all multifunction devices, are printing, copying, scanning, and faxing.
Strengths of OKI MC853DN
The OKI MC853DN has a very rare Unique Selling Point (USP). It is not only capable of printing in A3 and A4 but also in Tabloid format. There are very few A3 printers in the market that can print in the tabloid format. The widely accepted tabloid size is 279.4mm x 431.8mm. In fact, most users tend to buy tabloid printers separately if they need that functionality. However, the OKI MC853DN has that capability built in, which could be a reason for its cost. If tabloid printing is a requirement for you, then you won’t find many printers better than the OKI MC853DN.
Another quality of the OKI MC853DN is that it comes with the automatic duplexing feature. This feature is quickly becoming the standard for single and multifunction printers in the world today simply because of its benefits. If you’ve ever used an automatic duplexing enabled device before, you’ll know that it can save you tonnes of time and money. Notably, the total cost of ownership of the OKI MC853DN is also decent. As per estimates, if you use cartridges made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in this device, you’ll get a very decent per-page cost of about 17.18 cents.
However, you can take that down further to only 15.42 cents by using generic cartridges. The OKI MC853DN also performs decently when it comes to print speed. Many users will even find that it to be speedy if their needs are not especially unique. It is formally rated to be 23 pages per minute (ppm) for A4 sheets and 13 ppm for A3 sheets. From the perspective of security, the OKI MC853DN is fairly accomplished as well. It offers password protected printing and even the built-in hard drive is encrypted to keep sensitive data secure.
Weaknesses of OKI MC853DN
While the OKI MC853DN is a good device in many ways, it isn’t completely without flaws. The biggest flaw of this A3 device is that its output quality is below par for the segment. The device has a capacity to produce a maximum resolution of about 600 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) but there are issues in the final print in many cases. For example, in some scenarios, you’ll notice minor tinting, some misalignment and even slight posterization i.e. sudden shifts in shades. Even though these output quality issues exist, you need to note that they’re few and far between.
All in all, whether you print text, graphics, or images with this printer, they’ll be more than sufficient for internal use. The real issue with the OKI MC853DN is its initial cost. To acquire this device, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny largely because you’ll be getting the tabloid printing capability. At the same time, this initial cost may not matter in the long term because the total cost of ownership of this device is very economical. Paper handling may also be a problem if you expect to print high volumes. The OKI MC853DN’s standard version comes with a total paper capacity of only 500 sheets which can be divided between a 300-sheet paper tray, a 100-sheet multipurpose tray, and a 100 sheet reversing Automatic Document Feeder.
It is good to know this in advance because if you expect to need more capacity, it might be a good idea to go for add-on paper trays of 535 sheets. You can take the paper capacity of this device up to 1570 sheets. In fact, other variants of this same model offer variations in paper handling too. There is the OKI MC853DNCT which comes with a 2nd paper tray and a cabinet and the OKI MC853 NC853DNX which comes with two extra paper trays and a caster base. If you plan on upping the paper handling capacity of this device, then you shouldn’t have any qualms about how much it can handle. The device has a maximum monthly duty cycle rating of 60,000 sheets.
Other add-on options are also worth considering. For example, you should consider the OKI wireless module very carefully because the standard variant of the OKI MC853DN doesn’t have wireless connectivity. You can only connect to this device through USB 2.0 and Ethernet, which can be seen as another limitation.
The final flaw of the OKI MC853DN is its size and weight. Because the device supports tabloid size printing, it is large, cumbersome, and hefty. It measures about 563mm in width, 600mm in depth, and 700mm in height with a total weight of around 64 Kg. Therefore, if you were planning to put this device on your desk, please reconsider. While you’re reconsidering, also make sure that you have three people around, if you plan on moving this mini-tractor around.
Key Features of OKI MC853DN
Most of the features of the OKI MC853DN have already been mentioned above. Of the ones that haven’t been mentioned, its scanning ability is worth noting. This device has a maximum scanning resolution of 600 x 600 dpi and offers multiple direct destinations such as scan to email, scan to USB, and even scan to a network folder. The speed with which this device scans is 50 images per minute (ipm), irrespective of whether the image is monochrome or colour.
With respect to memory, the device boasts of a 1.26GB RAM and a 250GB hard disk drive. The device can be controlled directly too since it comes with a 177.8mm control panel that can be tilted according to need. The control panel consists of an alphanumeric keypad and a touchscreen. Add-on options other than the ones already mentioned above include a caster base and a combo of cabinet and caster base.