OKI MC561 colour laser multifunction printer
Workgroups will like this model's speed and paper handling, but its output quality and ease of use can be disappointing
- Convoluted network scanning setup
- Superior text output
- Very fast
- Mediocre graphics and scan quality
Workgroups will like this model’s speed and paper handling, but its output quality and ease of use can be disappointing.
Price$ 1,700.00 (AUD)
Oki Printing Solutions' MC561 colour laser multifunction printer is well equipped for a busy workgroup, with full print/copy/scan/fax features, outstanding speed, and superior text quality. Graphics quality fell short of my expectations, however, and Oki still has a lot to learn about ease of use. Among MFPs at roughly the same price as the MC561 (US$750 as of June 29, 2011), the slightly less expensive Brother MFC-9970CDW is a bit slower but offers comparable or better features -- and better graphics quality.
If it weren't for minor differences in colouring and the nameplate, you wouldn't be able tell the MC561 from its marginally slower cousin, the Oki MC361. Their feature sets are virtually identical, with five-line, 3.5-inch, tilting monochrome LCDs and well-labeled controls. What you pay extra for is the MC561's superior speed. In our tests, plain-text pages printed at a record-setting 17.6 pages per minute on the PC and an impressive 15.4 ppm on the Mac. Photos arrived quickly, too: Snapshots on plain or glossy paper emerged in 20 to 27 seconds, and a high-resolution, full-page photo on the Mac took just over a minute to print.
All printed output from the MC561 bears a slight sheen. You might be a fan of this effect, or you might not; it's a matter of taste. Patina or no, text pages from this unit looked clear and sharp. Photos, on the other hand were merely adequate, with a distinct (though not unacceptably obvious) graininess. Copies of anything other than text looked grainy, too. Scans were acceptable: Line-art samples showed some moiré, while colour images tended to be overly dark.
The MC561's paper-handling features are complete. Duplexing (the ability to handle two-sided documents) is standard for printing, as well as for scanning and copying via the 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). The front fold-down multipurpose tray holds 100 sheets, the main paper cassette accommodates 250 sheets, and the output tray can handle 150 sheets.
One area where the MC561 (and most other Oki multifunction printers we've tested, alas) badly needs to improve is in ease of setup and use. In the PC installation (via USB or ethernet), you have to install the PaperPort 11 SE and the OmniPage 16 scanning/document management applications separately. Network scanning is unduly complex, requiring the use of an inadequately documented configuration tool. Mac users don't get the same OCR/document software listed above, and they have to download a separate driver to get the scanner to appear in System Preference\Printers and Faxes or to use the scanner with OS X's scanning app.
Oki's estimated retail toner prices would yield middling costs per page. The standard-size supplies include a 3500-page black toner cartridge for $97.60, which works out to a slightly lower-than-average 2.8 cents per page. Unfortunately, toner cartridges for each of the three colours (cyan, magenta, and yellow) cost $146.30 and last for 3000 pages; that works out to 4.9 cents per page, which is a little higher than average. If you combine all four colours, the price per page jumps to 17.4 cents, higher than it should be for a busy workgroup printer. The high-yield supplies follow the same trend: The 5000-page black cartridge ($105) delivers a good cost per page of 2.1 cents, but the 5000-page colour cartridges ($212 each) are a little pricey at 4.2 cents per page each, leading to a higher-than-average cost per page of 14.8 cents for four-colour pages. If you shop around (as we did), you can find toner for the MC561 at discounts of up to 40 percent.
Oki charges a lot for its DIMM memory upgrades, too: $168 for 256MB, and $233 for 512MB. Standard memory DIMMs sell for a fraction of that cost. If you ever replace the image drum, which lasts for 20,000 pages, the $166 replacement part will add about three-quarters of a cent to the cost per page of future pages.
The Oki MC561 has much to recommend it -- starting with speed, but with price and paper handling following close behind. Graphics quality is undistinguished but probably acceptable for mainstream business use. We'd like it better if it were easier to set up, but it's still an option worth considering among midpriced MFPs.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 2 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 3 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
- 4 TCL X2 review: QLED escapes the premium market
- 5 Xbox One X review: Brave new world
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Sony a7R Mk III review: The strongest case yet for ditching your DSLR
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Oppo R11s: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPJunior Business AnalystWA
- FTContent Marketing SpecialistOther
- FTWeb Application Developer - NodeJSOther
- CCIOS DeveloperNSW
- FTChange ManagerACT
- CCMaximo Developer - Telco ClientVIC
- TPService Desk OperatorACT
- CCApplication Architect - Custom DevelopmentVIC
- FTCommunications AnalystOther
- CCLead Developer - BrisbaneNSW
- CCChange Manager l Port Macquarie NSWNSW
- FTTechnical Infrastructure DesignerOther
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- TPProject Manager/Stream LeadQLD
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect (Software/API background)QLD
- FTSenior Success ManagerOther
- FTSenior Infrastructure EngineerOther
- TPSenior Solution ArchitectACT
- CCData Migration Analyst / DBAQLD
- CCMigration SpecialistVIC
- CCTraining Coordinator - Federal GovernmentACT
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- CCDigital DesignerNSW
- FTJ2EE/JAVA DeveloperOther