Oki C321dn review

A terrific laser printer for a home or small office

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As you'd expect from an office-orientated laser printer, the Oki 321dn is suitably speedy. It printed our 20-page test document, which is monochrome and text only, in one minute and two seconds. Not a bad pace at all. Text print quality is also very good. We printed another test document that used two fonts and character sizes ranging from four to 18 points. The largest characters proved vivid and consistent, with no greying or bleeding in evidence at all. This is, of course, not surprising for a quality laser printer, but it's laudable all the same. At the lowest point sizes, text remains crisp, clear and readable, with no smudging or blurring.

Printing a two-page flyer using Duplex was simplicity itself, and the quality of the print-out was very good. Text was clear and solid, and images were well realised. Perhaps the colours were a little over-saturated, but overall detail was good on both sides of the paper – you didn't get the bleed-through suffered by some printers. If you regularly print documents that would benefit from using both sides of the page, the Oki C321dn is definitely worth considering.

Oki C321dn
Print on both sides for more impressive documents and paper savings

As you might expect from a laser printer, its photo output failed to match its stellar text quality. Printing our PhotoDisc test image on standard, 75gsm photocopier paper at default image quality, the results left much to be desired. The print-out was over-dark, too red and the greyscale ramp looked banded. Ramping up the quality to its highest setting and printing on glossy photo paper improved matters, but it was still dull, lifeless and a little grainy. Skin tones were poor too. If you want to print a lot of high-quality photographs, you're still better off with an inkjet, especially a five- or six-tank Canon or HP Photosmart model.

Build quality is excellent. It's robust and well made throughout, so even in an office environment with multiple users, nothing's likely to break away or wear out. Our only question mark about the design and build is the second paper 'tray', which is a sheet feeder that opens at the front of the device. It's not as strong as the rest of the printer, and paper left in place is liable to get dusty if not used quickly. It's OK for light or occasional use, but not great if you need to regularly use two input trays. We appreciated the printer setting that let you use the sheet feeder for a document's first page and the main tray for subsequent sheets, though. If you need a letter-headed opening page but plain paper thereafter, this could come in very useful.

If you're planning to buy a laser printer for the home, be aware that this one isn't as feature-rich as we've come to expect from home inkjets. There's no Wi-Fi option, it's not AirPrint compatible and there's no companion app for smartphones.


The Oki C321dn is clearly built with small businesses and home offices in mind, or maybe for a manager's private office in a larger business. Its relatively small footprint means it will fit in most spaces, but it's not light – don't expect to mount it on a flimsy shelf. You can connect it to your computer using USB or to a network over Ethernet, though there's no Wi-Fi option. It's cheap to buy, costing not much more than £200, and running costs are reasonable.

We liked

Text quality is stellar, with crystal-clear characters even at low point sizes. It's very fast too, pumping out a 20-page test document in a little over a minute. We've few complaints about the build quality. It's certainly tough enough to take the knocks in a busy office, and it looks reasonably good too. Its 250-sheet paper tray is big enough for the small office, and it has some welcome features such as Duplex printing and the ability to print on the first page of a multi-page document from the secondary tray, and the rest of the document from the main one.

We disliked

Although great in the home office or for small businesses, it's not so good for in the home. It lacks significant features we've come to expect from home printers, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile printing options and smartphone support apps.

Its photo output leaves a lot to be desired too, with over-dark, grainy prints that are nowhere near as good as even a cheap inkjet. To be fair, it's not designed for the all-round home-use market, though it's worth pointing out that if you're looking for a laser-based replacement for your trusty home inkjet, this might not be the ideal printer for you.


Is the Oki C321dn worth buying? Yes, if you intend to use it in the role for which it was designed, a small office or home office environment, or maybe as a manager's private printer in a bigger business. If you want a fast, cheap laser printer that offers excellent text reproduction and a meaty paper tray, you could do a lot worse than this.

If you need to keep letterheads, envelopes or other such non-standard papers in place on a semi-permanent basis, you might be better off with a model that has a second paper tray instead of a sheet feeder. Like most affordable laser printers, the Oki C321dn is not good at printing photographs. If this is important to you, you're better off with an inkjet.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED Printer
Green CompliantYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Standard Input Media Capacity350 sheets
Maximum Mono Print Speed (ppm)22
Maximum Color Print Speed (ppm)20
Product FamilyC300
Maximum Print Resolution1200 x 600 dpi
Brand NameOki
Form FactorDesktop
Print ColourColour
Duplex PrintingAutomatic
Media SizeA4, A5, A6, B5, C5 Envelope, C6 Envelope, DL Envelope, Com 9 Envelope, Com10 Envelope, Monarch Envelope, Index Card, Letter, Custom Size, A4 - 210 mm x 297 mm, A5 - 148 mm x 210 mm, A6 - 105 mm x 148 mm, B5 - 176 mm x 250 mm, C5 Envelope - 162 mm x 229 mm, C6 Envelope - 114 mm x 162 mm, DL Envelope - 110 mm x 220 mm, Com 9 Envelope - 98 mm x 225 mm, Com10 Envelope - 105 mm x 241 mm, Index Card - 76.20 mm x 127 mm, 101.60 mm x 152.40 mm, 127 mm x 177.80 mm, Letter - 216 mm x 279 mm
Duty Cycle30000 pages per month
Recommended UsePlain Paper Print
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, Blue Angel
Number of Input/Multipurpose Trays Installed2
Number of Input Trays Supported2
Maximum Input Media Capacity350 sheets
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Height242 mm
Width410 mm
Depth504 mm
Media TypePlain Paper, Envelope, Index Card, Banner Paper, Business Card, Label, Poster Paper, Flyer Paper, Presentation Paper, Card Stock, Brochure Paper, Photo Paper
Product SeriesC300
ManufacturerOKI Data
Product ModelC321DN
Product NameC321DN - Colour and Mono Printer
Processor Speed532 MHz
Manufacturer Part Number44951534
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.oki.co.uk
Marketing InformationEverything a small business needs from a colour printer, without the price tag
  • A4 colour printer, 1-5 users
  • 20ppm colour and 22ppm mono
  • 350 sheet standard paper capacity
  • PCL/PS printer language emulation
  • Auto duplex and networked as standard

Why settle for less? The C321dn colour printer answers all the printing needs of the micro business or small office. It delivers outstanding High Definition colour quality, double sided printing and fast, reliable performance, all in a highly affordable, compact device. Now every business large or small can make a professional impression with the C321dn. And with PCL/PostScript emulations and a network interface as standard the C321dn is system friendly and easy to share.

Platform SupportedPC, Mac
Package Contents
  • C321DN - Colour and Mono Printer
  • 1 x Black Toner Cartridge
  • 1 x Cyan Toner Cartridge
  • 1 x Magenta Toner Cartridge
  • 1 x Yellow Toner Cartridge
Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory128 MB
Weight (Approximate)22 kg