Reviews & Awards

Oki C5200n wins "Best in Test" award in PC World (Norway)


"A lightning-fast colour printer with low running costs and extremely good paper flexibility."


OKI impressed the market with the C5000 series when it was launched in August 2002 at under NOK 10,000 incl. VAT. The C5200n is a newer and faster version of the same printer and the price is now down to NOK 6,000. The OKI 5200n is a GDI printer designed for personal use or workgroups of up to four users. It is based on LED technology which means that the printhead uses light-emitting diodes rather than a laser. This is not of great significance in practice. What is significant is that it as the only printer in the test based on single pass technology, whereby the paper only needs to go through the printer once.

The result is that full colour printouts are - in theory - four times faster, which should give a print speed of 16 colour pages or 24 B/W pages per minute. This was confirmed in our test results and means that OKI is in a class of its own when it comes to speed of colour printouts. 15.5 colour pages in a minute is twice as fast as its nearest competitor. It also processes heavier printjobs very quickly, although as it is a GDI printer, the result depends on the computer from which you are printing. In terms of quality, we are pleased with the quality of both the test and the graphics, but it struggles a little to reproduce detailed transitions in dark areas, such as shadowy parts on a photo.

The model can also boast a resolution of 1,200 x 600 dots per inch, automatic colour correction, a network card and the ability to print on paper up to 203 grams. This makes the printer highly flexible and means that it is possible to print anything from a business card to a CD/DVD cover. By using the manual paper feed it is also possible to print banners up to 120 cm long. OKI supplies software which enables you to print out various types of document based on finished examples or create your own templates - highly practical if you run a company and want to create your own advertising materials.

OKI came out very well in our comparison of running costs, but anyone with high output volumes must bear in mind that this printer uses four separate drums/photoconductors and these must all be replaced after approx. 17,000 printouts. It is quite easy to replace them, but it obviously involves extra work and expense. When they have been replaced, we can say that the price per page increases to NOK 0.2 per colour page. 17,000 pages is still quite a high figure in this segment and is the equivalent of printing over 30 pages every single working day for three years.

According to OKI, this entry-level model is for those who want a combined colour and B&W printer, but it is only supplied with drivers for Windows. If you want support for PostScript, you have to move up to the C5300 series. OKI also sells an even more affordable model called the C3100, but it is somewhat slower than the C5200 (20 pages B&W or 12 colour per minute) and it also lacks the network card option.

Our selection

Colour lasers are complicated products, with the emphasis on different qualities depending on use. After our overall assessment, the "Best-in-test" goes to the OKI C5200n. This is a lightning-fast colour printer with low running costs and extremely good paper flexibility. It is also supplied with a network card included in the price. The disadvantage of the OKI printer is that it only supports Windows. For anyone dependent on other platforms we recommend the Lexmark C510N, which is very fast on B&W and has long servicing intervals and emulation for both PCL and PostScript.

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