• Price: £5,999 + VAT

  • Company: OKI

  • Pros: Highest-grade output, great for high yields, simple to print to and run

  • Cons: Very expensive, fiddly install

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

OKI’s ES9410 is the best A3 laser printer we’ve ever had in our labs. It produces prints that – while no rival to pro inkjet output – are a league above what can be achieved with typical in-studio laser printers such as our own Xerox Phaser 7500. But then it does cost two to three times what less exalted printers sell for.

The reason for this eye-watering price isn’t just the quality. This is a printer designed to churn out high volume – around 3,000 to 10,000 pages per month according to Oki. It would be easy to print many small-run jobs in-house with the ES9410, offering savings on external printing costs that would salve the sting of its price tag. Running the printer is as easy as you’d hope for a workhorse; changing the toner cartridges is a two-minute job.

The standard version has a single tray that can hold up to 500 super A3 pages, plus there’s a side-loading media tray that allows you to stick board up 300gsm through on a flat path. We never saw any conflicts over whether a job could be printed with whatever papers were loaded in the trays, as you often get with cheaper printers.

The ES9410 has direct PDF printing capabilities included as part of its support for Adobe’s PostScript 3 – so type and vectors are rendered immaculately. You can upload PDFs to it using a web interface, which will be useful for larger design studios (or print shops).

With a design straight out of 1980s photocopiers, OKI’s ES9410 is no looker – its beauty lies in the sheer quality of its printing

As with many high-end lasers, the default settings lead to slightly dark prints, but in general the ES9410’s output is especially strong, with detailed images and accurate colour after calibration.

OKI’s ES9410 is for designers with demanding needs. While it alone won’t turn your studio into a print shop, for many it’ll provide both an excellent proofer and a handy moneysaver.