This color printer uses LED technology instead of lasers, but lays down the same cyan, magenta, yellow, and black toner (CMYK) as a laser printer. Being a GDI (Graphics Device Interface) printer, as opposed to a PostScript or PCL, your Mac does most of the image processing work (rasterizing) and sends the page to the printer, much like an inkjet printer. The C5150n was actually a little faster at printing some of our test documents than some of the $1,000 PostScript color lasers we’ve recently reviewed (June; 2004 or
) but the output was barely in the same ballpark. In our tests using Microsoft Office, text documents produced clear, legible text at a variety of sizes. PowerPoint slides with clip art printed without problems. The C5150n had a bit more trouble with a PDF document containing many graphic and color details: it printed jagged edges in some of the curved lines and noticeable vertical banding in the gradients. The print of our 22MB Photoshop test page showed a slight pink cast and a generally undersaturated, slightly noisy, appearance.
The network setup is more than a little clunky, but it works. The printer can be auto-configured with an IP address via DHCP but you must print out a configuration sheet via the printer’s LCD control menus to get that address and enter it in manually in OSX 10.3’s Printer Set Up utility. The printer is seen by Apple’s Rendezvous networking protocol and we were able to view the status page in the Safari browser, but we were unable to print to it using Rendezvous in OS X 10.3.4.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
Though fine for general business documents, the C5150n’s clunky networking, undersaturated colors, and lack of PostScript support keep us from recommending this printer highly, despite its low price.
For a detailed specifications, see
Oki Data’s Web site.