The OKI MC573dn ($899) laser-class all-in-one (AIO) color printer is suitable for medium-volume printing in a small office or heavy-duty printing in a micro or home office. Its speed and paper capacity is comparable to similarly priced printers. Output quality is typical of laser-class printers across the board. It’s a more than capable machine, though we’ve seen similar printers with a bit better output quality and additional features.
This is an LED-based printer, which are very similar to lasers, except they use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in place of lasers as a light source. They also tend to be more compact than equivalently equipped lasers, which is true of the MC573dn. It measures 16.8 by 18.6 by 22.6 inches (HWD), so it will need a bench or table of its own, and it weighs 68 pounds, heavy enough that you should have two people to move it into place. The two-toned (off-white and brown) MC573dn has a front panel with a large (7-inch) color touch LCD, an alphanumeric keypad, and related function buttons. A front-facing USB port lets you print from or scan to a USB thumb drive.
The maximum duty cycle of up to 60,000 pages per month makes it suitable for up to medium-duty printing in a small office, or heavy-duty printing in a micro or home office. Its standard paper capacity consists of 350 sheets, split between a 250-sheet legal-size main tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose feeder. You can add up to two optional 530-sheet paper trays for a maximum capacity of 1,410 sheets.
This model includes a duplexer for automatic two-sided printing. For scanning, faxing, and copying, in addition to a flatbed, it has a 50-sheet reversing automatic document feeder (ADF), which can scan a two-sided document, but it will need to flip the page over to scan the second side. Although better than a simplex (one-sided) scanner, it is slower than a duplexing scanner, which scans both sides of a document in a single pass. Both the Xerox WorkCentre 6515/DNI and the Editors’ Choice Dell Color Smart Multifunction Printer S3845cdn’s include duplex scanners.
USB and Ethernet connectivity come loaded; a Wi-Fi adapter is available as a $75 option. Although it’s not unusual for business all-in-ones to lack standard Wi-Fi connectivity, many do offer it. The Editors’ Choice Samsung Multifunction Printer ProXpress C3060FW and the Xerox 6515/DNI have built-in Wi-Fi, while the Dell S3845cdn only offers it as an option. The MC573dn does come ready for both Google Cloud Print 2.0 and Apple AirPrint.
In addition to the software included on the setup disc, OKI provides free download links to Abbyy FineReader 12 Sprint, an optical character recognition (OCR) program, and Sendys Explorer Lite, a document/workflow management program that lets users capture documents, convert them into various formats, and distribute them to email, network folders, and other destinations. With it, you can also scan to cloud-based destinations such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Microsoft SharePoint. The printer includes both PCL and PostScript drivers.
In my testing on an Ethernet network with its drivers installed on a PC running Windows 10 Professional, the MC573dn averaged 31.4 pages per minute (ppm) in printing the text-only (Word) portion of our new business applications suite, just over its rated speed (30ppm, for both monochrome and color printing). In printing our full business suite, which includes PDF, PowerPoint, and Excel files in addition to the aforementioned Word document, it averaged 14.2ppm. These speeds are very similar to the Samsung C3060FW (31.4ppm and 14.7ppm for the Word document and the full suite, respectively), and a tad faster than the Xerox WorkCentre 6515/DNI (28.8ppm and 13.1ppm, respectively) They were slightly slower than the Dell S3845cdn’s speed for simplex printing, 34.7ppm and l5.3ppm; the Dell slowed to 33.3ppm and 13.7ppm when printing in its default duplex mode, in which it prints on both sides of the page.
Text, graphics, and photo quality all fell within the average range for a color laser, which makes the output suitable for most in-house business use. Text quality should be fine for business purposes except for those requiring very small fonts, such as demanding desktop publishing applications.
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With graphics, colors were generally rich and well saturated, although a couple of backgrounds looked a bit pale. I saw some posterization (abrupt shifts in color where they should be gradual) in two illustrations. Most people would consider graphics of good enough quality for PowerPoint handouts, at least for distribution to general audiences rather than important clients.
For photos, I saw posterization in two prints, and a monochrome image had a slight tint, In general, there was minor loss of detail in dark areas in many of the prints. Print quality is suitable for, say, photos to go in company newsletters but not for marketing materials.
Although the MC573dn’s output quality was solid across the board in my testing, its text quality wasn’t quite as good as the Xerox 6515/DNI, while its graphics fell short of the Samsung C3060FW. The Dell S3845cdn had slightly better output quality for text, graphics, and photos than the MC573dn, and better overall output than the other two printers as well.
Running costs for the MC573dn, based on OKI’s price and yield figures for consumables (toner and drum) are 2.5 cents per black page and 14.8 cents per color page, slightly higher color costs than both the Samsung C3060FW (13.5 cents) and the Xerox 6515/DNI (14 cents), with both effectively matching the MC573’s cost for printing black pages. The Dell S3845cdn, which sells at a higher price than the models mentioned here, has considerably lower running costs (1.4 cents per black page and 8.9 cents per color page).
The OKI MC573dn offers a good feature set, and its speed is typical of color all-in-ones at its price. Its output quality is solid across the board and fine for most office use, though not quite as good as the other printers mentioned here. The best choice for overall output quality is the Dell S3845cdn, which costs more than the MC573dn and can handle heavier print volumes, while the Editors’ Choice Samsung C3060FW excels at graphics and the Xerox 6515/DNI has great text quality. Although the MC573dn doesn’t really stand out from the pack, I encountered no significant weaknesses in testing. It’s a capable choice that’s well worth a look by small or micro offices or workgroups looking for a color laser all-in-one that can handle medium- and occasional high-volume print loads.