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Samsung CLP-550N Colour Laser Printer Review

Samsung CLP-550N Colour Laser Printer Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you know anything about printers, you know that the laser printer is an essential tool for business.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Printers Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Sep 26 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Printers > Samsung CLP-550N

Printing with the CLP-550N

One of our favourite features of the CLP-550N is how quiet it is. While not silent, it is certainly not intrusive. Tucked away in a side room or by your desk, we doubt you'll notice it much. The 'operational' hum and clatter of the printer as it processing a print job is also much louder than the actual noise of pages being printed.

In several cases, we started a print job then turned our attention elsewhere until the page was printed, only to realize a minute later that the page had long ago come out, we just hadn't heard it. This quiet comes from a patent-pending feature Samsung call the "NO NOIS" technology engine. Basically, the mechanism for printing has been redesigned somewhat so that cartridges remain stationary as the paper is moved past the magenta, cyan, yellow and black colour cartridges.

Almost all necessary configuration options are available within the Windows printer screens (accessed from the control panel.), including the duplex mode option. The duplex mode itself works well, though the printer has the rather alarming habit of spitting out the sheet of paper briefly then sucking it right back in to print the other side, prompting us to make futile, instinctual grabs for the half finished sheet on a couple of occasions.

We encountered no errors or problems during our experience with the Samsung CLP-550N. Once installed and running, it was a pleasure to use in the office. As you would expect, we encountered no issues with document smudging or toner leakage.

The top of the printer gets quite hot during operation, and the manual requires that you leave considerable clearance on the top and sides of the printer for proper operation. There was a bit of a 'toner' smell, but it was only noticeable in the air immediately above the printer.

In Use: Network Printing

Setting up the CLP-550N to work over the network was fairly painless. The printer comes with a Samsung syncThru software CD which you can use to remotely monitor and administer your Samsung printer(s).

All configuration options in the CLP-550N's menu can be accessed from the syncThru utility. A compact version of the syncThru software can be used on other PCs that need to access the printer. This simply adds the required port to the 'add printer port' dialog box during printer installation, allowing the printer to be added to Windows normally (with the required drivers). Printing over the network worked exactly as it should have, with no slowdowns or problems.

Cost per Printed Page

The CLP-550N's standard black ink cartridge costs ~$90 and yields up to 7000 sheets at 5% coverage. Taken at face value, this works out to a cost per page (CPP) of 1.3 cents. For colour pages and black text with 5% coverage of each colour, yield should be 5000 pages at $105 per cartridge x3 + the black ink, working out to a CPP of around 8.1 cents.

Pages of mostly text with small areas of colour will work out considerably cheaper than this of course, just as full page photos are much more expensive. We'd put the cost of each full coloured page (for a printed photo or the like) at about 32 cents.

Of course, the image drum and transfer belt (~$140 each) are both rated at 50,000 sheets/12,500 colour sheets, and the waste toner container (~$18) will last for 12,000 sheets before needing replacement, so when these wear out more calculation is required. for 50,000 black sheets at 5% coverage, CPP should be be approximately 2 cents per page, with colour being proportionately more expensive also.

To test pure text print speed, we ran a 24-page word document (with about 5% coverage) through the printer. After an initial 15 second startup delay before the first page printed, the CLP-550N started churning out documents at a ferocious pace.

The document finished at 1 minute and 24 seconds, working out to a little better than 17ppm. If you subtract the initial time between the printer spooling up and the first page emerging, you get 20ppm, which is within the margin for error of Samsung's 21ppm claim for the CLP-550N.

For testing the printer's speed in colour, we ran a 12-page Word document consisting solely of images. The test run finished in 2 minutes, 32 seconds, making for an average of 4.7ppm, rounding up to Samsung's rated 5ppm colour. Good results all around in these tests.

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Contents of Article: Samsung CLP-550N
 Pg 1.  Samsung CLP-550N Colour Laser Printer Review
 Pg 2.  The CLP-550N From All Sides
 Pg 3.  Colour Laser Printing: CLP-550N Costs
 Pg 4.  Installation and Setup
 Pg 5.  — Printing with the CLP-550N
 Pg 6.  Print Quality Results

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