Samsung has a wide variety of printers available in the market, both home and business solutions. Additionally, the company also offers solutions in both laser and jet variants. While printers for many seems to be a trivial matter of offering print functionality, along with scanning and copying, the industry has moved on quite a bit in recent times, with requirements for efficient and mobile printing coming to the fore. Samsung has this covered with the Samsung Multifunction Xpress C460FW Printer, a solution designed for the home and small businesses.
Build and Design
The C460FW continues where its older brother, the CLX-3305FW, left off. The build and design spills over into the new model, almost down to the tee. The unit resembles most of the colour-laser printers available today, with its Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), or copier tray, on the top and scan-bed below the lid, and a protruding control panel interface. The unit is finished with an off-white plastic case, and black lid. The only major difference to be spotted here is that the paper tray at the bottom doesn’t fit flush into the main body of the unit, but rather leaves enough space when inserted to easily add and remove paper from the tray. While this was purposefully design to meet the requirement for easy access, it does spoil the aesthetics of the unit somewhat.
The tray itself is capable of holding 150 sheets of standard A4 paper. For a business, whether large or small, 150 sheets at the most will create some annoying alarms whenever the tray runs empty, which could be a daily occurrence. The ADF tray, however, is able to support up to 40 sheets of paper. This should be a fair amount when wanting to complete a few quick scans. The C460FW’s control panel isn’t the most sophisticated around, but still gets the job done easily. The two-line, monochrome display is by a number of one touch, action buttons (one of which is an Eco button for printing using less resources) with the menu control and numeric keyboard to its right. The unit measures 406×288.6x362mm (WxHxD), and weighs 12.8KG, which isn’t the smallest and lightest around in the same category.
Setting up the C460FW is a fairly simple process. Once you’ve successfully inserted the four toner cartridges and power on, the printer system will handle its own configuration setup, with only a small alignment and verification needed in between. Then you’re good to go, ready to print whatever you require with a host of connectivity options. If you’re using an older version of Windows, you may need to install the software drivers before use, which isn’t the case when using Windows 7 or later. The connectivity options include the standard PC interface via the USB cable, scan, copy and fax, USB direct, Ethernet and Wi-Fi, plus the additional support for NFC, accessible by NFC-enabled device. The C460FW is one of the first printers globally to offer this functionality, allowing users to access a file on their smartphone they wish to print, and simply tapping it to the printer’s NFC ‘region’.
Other additional methods for quick printing from your PC or smartphone include Wi-Fi Direct and Cloud Printing. While there are many interfaces from your devices to the printer, the C460FW is also capable of scanning documents and making them accessible on your device, PC or smartphone, without the need to copy and paste from a saved location.
The C460FW isn’t all about performance, but rather a question of simplistic connectivity and ease of use. Saying this, the results aren’t the worst you’ll find on a colour-laser printer either. Samsung’s factory specifications infer the unit is capable of printing up to 19 pages per minute (ppm) for black text, and up to four ppm on colour images. I’m happy to conclude that results during testing yielded pretty similar results on almost all occasions. Larger, higher resolution images will take additional time to process, which reflects in printing time, and can slow down to a rate of one page per minute. While printing speeds may not be the greatest around, on the positive side, the unit handles the job in the most efficient and eco-friendly method, which means that your toner cartridges will last for some time.
The biggest disappointment on the C460FW is its lack of automatic duplexing during printing. If this is a feature you require, you’ll have to manually handle this process, one page at a time. Another negative aspect in printing is the image quality yielded for both black and colour printing. Often the images appear washed out, which can be a direct result of the economy the unit is geared toward. Text printing, however, offers much better quality, which is clear and crisp.
The Samsung Multifunction Xpress C460FW Printer delivers a mixed bag of goods to the average consumer. Print speeds aren’t great, and neither is the photo quality. On the positive side, the unit offers a host of connectivity and economical printing, which will save you on time and cost. The C460FW is aimed at small businesses and home use, but there is more evidence to suggest the unit it catered more for business use than personal. Laser printers themselves are indicative of a more business-focused environment, and cost saving. At a cost of around R4,000, the unit isn’t cheap, and won’t fit into the budget of most households. That being said, using the C460FW for home or business use will yield more positive results than negative. A few more iterations under the belt, and consumers could expect an all-in-one printer of such magnitude to become more affordable, which will then make it a necessity for any home.