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Oki MC363dnw review: Solid performance, but no frills

SMBs looking for a low-cost colour LED MFP will find Oki's MC363dnw delivers a wealth of features at the same price as many single-function lasers. It may not be a winner in the design stakes but this chunky desktop unit offers 4-in-1 print, scan, copy and fax operations - plus healthy 26/30ppm colour and mono print speeds - and teams them up with support for Gigabit LAN, wireless or USB connections.

The flatbed scanner includes a 50-page ADF, although this is the simplex variety so has to reverse each page to scan both sides. The base paper capacity of 350 sheets can be improved with an optional 500-sheet lower cassette and opening the front MP tray and rear output slot allows banners up to 1.32 metres long to be printed.

The passive 9.5cm flip-up mono display works well enough with the various control panels and buttons, but we would prefer a touchscreen. The biggest drawback comes if you enable the printer's access controls as users must manually enter their credentials using the buttons every time they want to engage in walk-up operations -- a tedious process we soon grew tired of.

Linking up authentication with the printer driver is easier as users just enter their credentials at the PC they're printing from. Greater security is available with Oki's free smart PrintSuperVision (sPSV) web server, which we used on a Windows Server host to restrict access to colour printing, set page limits and control scan, copy and fax operations for selected users.

Cloud support is weak; only Google Cloud Print is available with no options for linking up with providers such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Box. Oki's Mobile Print iOS app is also very basic as we found it only offers simple network printing services and can't remotely access the scanner.

The MC363dnw won't be faulted for performance, however, as it swiftly despatched our 30-page test Word document in 60 seconds at both 600dpi and the interpolated 1,200dpi ProQ setting, while duplexing it returned 16.2ppm. Our challenging 24-page colour DTP document posed no problems either, delivering at precisely 26ppm for both resolutions.

The flatbed scanner is capable of producing quality copies of colour magazine pages and reports while the ADF hustled through a single-sided copy of 10 pages at 27ppm. Duplex-to-duplex copies saw speed tumble to 6ppm while measured peak noise levels of 66dB during this test are similar to most competing MFPs.

Print quality for text is beyond reproach with fonts down to 6pt sizes sharp and clean with no hint of dusting. Oki's characteristic vibrancy and high levels of detail make colour printing a pleasure as the MC363dnw gave our test photos and reports that extra pizzazz.

We did need to adjust the driver's brightness settings on some photos as they initially came out a little murky and we also noticed large areas of single colours showed a slight cross-hatching effect. However, the driver's Photo Enhance feature made significant improvements to photos by sharpening focus and increasing depth.

The printer is only supplied with 1,000-page starter cartridges and once exhausted, we recommend Oki's high yield versions to achieve the lowest running costs. Combining these with the drum, belt and fuser deliver mono pages for 2p and colour ones for 11.3p -- costs that are within the expected range for this price point.

The lack of touchscreen and poor cloud support take points from Oki but the MC363dnw is still a worthy candidate for SMEs on a tight budget. It offers good output quality and speed, combines them with plenty of connection options and delivers everything at a remarkably low price.

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