capsule review

Oki Data Oki C9500dxn

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Oki C9500DXN Digital Laser Printer

Oki Data Oki C9500dxn
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The C9500dxn's 19.9 ppm text-printing puts it near the front of the pack, at about 30 percent faster than the color-laser average, though its color graphics printing speed was one-third below average, at 2.7 ppm. Text performance eliminates any concern that this color printer might bog down office workflow. Office workers will also appreciate the sharp, clean black text and near-perfect narrow parallel lines. This model also does better than other Okis--or most color lasers for that matter--on gray-scale prints, too: The prints show some cross-hatching but have good detail and shading. The C9500dxn even printed decent color photos with fairly accurate colors and sharp detail, though banding was evident.

We tested Oki Data's Oki C9500 in its loaded DXN configuration, which includes 320MB of memory, a duplexer, and a 10GB hard drive for $4600. You can use the hard drive to store fonts and frequently printed documents; it also supports special features such as holding a password-protected job until you reach the printer and enter your code. The Oki's driver simplifies using other features the internal hard disk provides, such as uploading a frequently printed document to the drive or getting a single proof printed before running a whole job. Oki Data includes heaps of documentation, too--both printed and on-screen--with excellent detail and illustrations; one wire-bound booklet attaches to the printer, covering troubleshooting tips that users are likely to need in a crunch, such as clearing paper jams or replacing paper and toner. Installing and running Oki's PrintSuperVision network management tools and setting the printer up on a network print server requires a trained network administrator.

Wide-format printers have to be big, but the C9500dxn's single-pass design and four LED arrays make it huge, just like the other oversize printers we've tested recently. It measures 23 inches deep and 26 inches wide (or 37 inches wide with the auxiliary tray open), and it weighs 155 pounds without any consumables installed. Oki Data provides cut-out handles on only two corners, so setting up or moving the C9500dxn is no fun. For reaching paper jams and performing other maintenance tasks, you'll have to provide a sturdy, freestanding table that leaves room to walk behind the printer. On the other hand, it can run 13-by-47-inch banner paper.

Aside from the daunting task of moving it, the C9500dxn is easy to maintain. Toner cartridges and drums drop straight in from the top, and much of the paper path slides out on rails. At 11 cents per color page, according to PC World's toner-yield testing, the C9500dxn is also affordable to operate. For $1699 you can add a finisher that stacks, staples, and punches holes; for $1299 you can attach a high-capacity paper well.

In return for this expensive printer's superior swiftness and fine text, you'll have to accept mediocre color quality.

Dan Littman

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Oki C9500DXN Digital Laser Printer

Related:
  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon