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Samsung SF531P FAX/Copier/Printer Review
Samsung SF531P FAX/Copier/Printer Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Samsung SM-531P; Parallel and USB1.0 connections, 600x600dpi laser printer at 8PPM, 300x300dpi document scanning at 6sec/page, 33.6kbps fax speed at 200x20dpi - 300x300dpi resolution.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Printers Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Feb 12 2003   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Printers > Samsung SF531P

Printer Test Patterns

The next set of tests revolve around a set of laser printer test patterns we originally stumbled upon at ZDnet a few years ago. The patterns come in several type including Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat and Jpeg image formats. Ideally, the Illustrator patterns should be used but if you don't have the software the PDF files offer a good alternative. The JPEG test patterns should be avoided since none of the images are stored as vectors and so the resolution is not very good.

Of the two test patterns we used, the first is for measuring gradients and resolution reproduction and the second is for testing letter quality at different font sizes.

Gradient Test Font Test

Since the Samsung SF-531P handles both direct printing, and scanning & printing we are going to break up the test results by those two categories.

Gradient Test Pattern: The test pattern illustrates both a vertical and horizontal gradient bar which should ideally move smoothly from black to white with no visible banding or jarring. At 600dpi printing the horizontal gradient is very smooth no visible signs of banding at all. The vertical gradient gradient bar also shows pretty smooth transitions, but there were some faint streaks from the printing mechanism itself and it was unable to display the 10% black shade at all.

Scanning in the same document to print a copy illustrated that the SF531P is really best suited to plain text. The horizontal gradient bar was poorly transitioned, and the shading heavily pixelated because the scanning resolution is just 300x300 dpi. The vertical gradient bar was equally unimpressive in this scanning test. A 20% gradient was the lowest saturation visible.

Line, and Angled Lines Test Pattern: The solid horizontal lines at both 600 perfect and the angled lines (both sizes) are also well displayed. The scanned and printed page faired very well with the solid horizontal lines, and the large angled lines. The smaller angeled lines were distorted, and blurred.

Bezier Curves and Radial Fills: The curves and radial fills printed out very nicely, with even spirals and only scant instances of blotching visible at 600dpi. The scanned and copied document did well with the bezier curves, and very poorly with the radial fils - again illustrating that the SF-531P handles solid lines better than gradients.

Font Size Test Pattern:The type test pattern has one sentence, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" written in sizes ranging from 48-point to 4-point. In each cases the text is clearly legible, even at the smallest size, but the upward strokes disappear on some letters (like "v"). This is a pretty common aspect of the Samsung printers we have tested. The scanned and copied document handled the text well, but the smallest font was not easily readable, though it was legible for the most part. Pixelization of the characters was visible at all font sizes after scanning and coping the document since the scanner is limited to 300x300dpi at the standard setting.

Final Conclusions:

When we started testing out the Samsung SF-531P we expected it to handle printing, faxing, copying and telephone applications. After becoming more familiar with it we also discovered the scan-to-email, and scan-to-OCR functions brought out through Samsung's software package. Depending on your line of work OCR is either an absolute necessity, or something which doesn't get that much use. Around here we don't have much need for OCR capabilities, but it is nice to know that the feature is just a click away.

As a laser printer the SF531P handles the task well, but not quickly. The SF531P is limited to 600dpi resolutions and 8 pages per minute printing. The box comes with a starter toner cartridge which should last around 2000 sheets which is a nice bonus, and in our tests the print quality of the unit was very competitive. The paper tray holds about 50-100 sheets, and has adjustable guides for letters, and different sized paper up to about 8.5" in width.

As a copier the SF531P gets the job done but it is clear that this feature isn't a substitute for a photocopier - the SF531P works well with text based documents, but gradients, images, and other objects with shading are not copied very well.

As a fax, the SF531P has more features than we can really list here; a 20-number auto dial, handset, and handy set of advanced faxing tools are the most significant but there are many more. As a fax the SF531P shines, though with only 2MB of storage memory it may have been better to include a larger paper tray that what is afforded for currently. Bottom line, if you run you own SOHO business a multifax printer/fax/scanner is a must have - they are simply so useful and provide such good value. The Samsung SF531P is a good model in most respects, and in the core competencies works very well. It doesn't provide top of the line specs in any one category, but when you consider its retail price tag it does top the list in terms of value.

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Contents of Article: Samsung SF531P
 Pg 1.  Samsung SF531P FAX/Copier/Printer Review
 Pg 2.  Image Scanning Samples
 Pg 3.  User Controls and Save Features
 Pg 4.  — Printer Test Patterns

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