Printer: Samsung Xpress C460FW

Samsung's Xpress C460FW is a laser printer which occasionally dabbles in colour. That is the impression I got from glancing at its specifications.

While it claims a decent speed of 19 pages a minute for black-and-white prints, the C460FW can deliver only four colour pages in a minute. The HP printer is the only other model in this shoot-out which prints so slowly in colour.

As with all printers, the first black-and-white print-out took about 15sec. However, once it warmed up, the C460FW managed 18 black-and-white pages a minute.

Black print quality is good, with clear, crisp and dark text. Colours are bright and vivid, but the machine does not handle colour gradients well - there were distinct bands in the colour prints it produced.

In short, this printer works best for black-and-white documents, although it can do a decent job for colour prints if you can tolerate the slow print speed.

Of the models here, the Samsung printer has the smallest footprint, narrowly beating the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM215fw.

At 14kg, it is not too heavy to handle, so it is suitable for use at home and small offices.

Both the Samsung and the Fuji are similar in features and price. Their paper trays each hold 150 sheets and protrude slightly when in use, unlike larger printers, where the trays sit fully within the chassis.

Neither printer offers automatic duplex or double-sided printing, so the paper must be fed manually if it is to be printed on both sides.

It is in mobile printing where the C460FW shines. It supports Near Field Communication (NFC), which makes it easy to connect your mobile device to the printer. Install the Samsung Mobile Print app (iOS and Android) on your NFC-enabled mobile device and tap the device against the NFC label on the printer to pair the two devices.

Once this is done, you can switch to using the mobile app to control the printer. As the printer has only a standard two-line monochrome LCD display, it is easier to use the app. The printer has hardware buttons for tasks such as ID copy, for scanning and printing of identification cards; and one-touch Wi-Fi Protected Set-up, to connect the printer to a router.

A Direct USB button lets you print documents and images from a USB flash drive plugged into the front USB port. However, this is time-consuming, especially when you are using the printer's menu controls.

Personally, I would use the app whenever possible. It can be used to print, scan and fax documents. You can even check ink levels with it. However, for most users, the best part of the app is that it can connect to cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox and OneDrive, to download files to be sent to the printer.

This is one of the most affordable multi-function colour laser printers on the market, albeit with slow colour print speed.

Those who print from mobile devices will appreciate the NFC feature and the excellent mobile app. TECH SPECS

Price: $488

Yield: Up to 1,500 standard pages per cartridge (black) and 1,000 pages per cartridge (colour)

Print resolution: Up to 2,400 x 600 dots per inch

Speed: Up to 19 pages per minute (black), four pages per minute (colour)

Tested speed: 18 pages per minute (black), four pages per minute (colour)


Features: 4/5

Design: 3/5

Performance: 3/5

Value for money: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

This article was first published on Oct 29, 2014.
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