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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

Print Quality Results

Our black and white image quality tests were accomplished with PDF versions of the following two images printed in both 600 and 1200 dpi.

As we had expected, the CLP-550N passed the text quality test with flying colours, with even the tiny 4pt text being clear and legible. No problems with text on this printer.

The gradient line and fill test image gave slightly less impressive results. Both the horizontal and vertical gradients were well reproduced and smooth at 600dpi except for a slight step in the middle of the horizontal gradient. At 1200 dpi the reproduction was considerably rougher, with more visible banding in the horizontal gradient test and visible banding in the vertical gradient which was absent at 600dpi. The line test was reproduced adequately in both settings, with some 'stepping' between every sixth line. No major problems here though, and the image precision is more than adequate for most work.

Click on the image to see a full screen scan of the CLP-550N's colour print output difference between 1200DPI and 600DPI settings.

We tested the CLP-550N's colour reproduction with both photos and PDF documents containing colour images and text. The laser effortlessly tore through our document tests with coloured text, small pictures and logos, producing excellent results.

The printer did seem to have occasional problems with rendering certain colours and colour transitions faithfully. This was most notable when we attempted a printout of the title page of the PDF user guide included on the CD. The colour transition between blue and green and the background images were not handled well by the CLP-550N, resulting in a poor reproduction. Other images, including a high-resolution photo produced much better results.

As you would expect, photo quality was considerably better when using the printer's 1200dpi mode. In addition to increased detail and finer dots, skin tone was considerably improved in all our test images.

The CLP-550N is not by any means a replacement for a decent inkjet photo printer, but it does produce good quality colour output, perfectly acceptable for documents, newsletters, flyers, casual photo reproduction, etc. Considering that this printer is aimed at the business (office) market, we'd say it's colour reproduction abilities are perfectly suited to its intended duties.

Conclusions: Colour Printing for the Masses

The Samsung CLP-550N is an excellent value as a small office colour laser. It's price, text quality and print speed combine to make it a worthy addition to any office. We found resorting to it for other printing duties during the course of the review, since its output was very good, and fast.

For high-output of primarily black and white (text) documents I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Samsung CLP-550N printer for the job. It can do the job at about 21ppm, with excellent 1200 DPI resolution, but it is not especially suited for printing just in black in white, and you'd be wearing out the rather costly imaging drum and transfer belt in the process unnecessarily. Add to that the automatic cleaning in between black and white, and colour printing cycles, and the CLP-550N will be unnecessarily wasting a lot of toner as it switches between colour and monochrome print jobs.

Our only other reservations with the CLP-550N involve it's handling of certain coloured images. On some of our photo samples, the transition between colours was not rendered well at all. This is not the huge problem that it might seem, since the printer is not intended or suited for high-precision graphical or photographic work in the first place. Few affordable colour laser printers are, so this is not a knock against Samsung. The CLP-550N's purpose is to serve as the printing hub for a small office, or creative department, churning out colour documents of all types over the network. In this role, it is an excellent product.

PCSTATS Editor's Choice Award

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Printers News»

 

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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