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June 23, 2003 -- by Mike Chin
It's another first: The Samsung Laser MFP SCX-4216F is the first printing device to be submitted for review at SilentPCReview. I was a bit dubious about doing a printer review at first. Surely all printers make noise when they are printing, and we can all live with that noise knowing it will stop when the printing is done? After some discussions with colleagues and friends, I discovered this is not so: Some printers apparently make a fair amount of noise in standby, and the amount of noise emitted during printing varies considerably from model to model.
Then there was a SPCR forums thread called Input on Quiet Printer begun around the same time. Within a day or two, it had 13 posts and was read 200 times, so evidently there IS some interest in this topic. So... enough rationalizing and on with the show! ...er, review, I mean.
The first thing is to correct myself: The Samsung Laser MFP SCX-4216F is not a printer, per se, it is a multifunction printer that has 4 main functions:
- monochrome laser printer
- plain paper fax
- color scanner
- monochrome photocopier
It's a sizable unit, not like some of those cheaper fax look-alikes. The Samsung Laser MFP SCX-4216F seems to have been designed as a workhorse. Looks-wise, it is not exactly a candidate for the Smithsonian, but it imparts an impression of solid, businesslike competence. It measures around 16"H x 18"W x 17"D (or 474 x 436 x 417 mm to be precise), weighs 13 kg and comes well-packed in a big carton that's almost a 2' cube. It is probably a too large to be considered a personal multifunction printer.
I've seen and used some unimpressive early and/or low end versions of multifunction office machines. This Samsung, however, shoots for a higher standard, with features comparable to those found in midrange single-function devices. The rated print speed is a high 17 pages per minute, and the integrated automatic sheet feeder helps to speed paper handling. The 600 x 600 dpi laser engine provides a level of sharpness that's difficult to match with inkjets, making the Samsung a viable replacement for the clutter of several single-function equipment in a home or small office or cubicle desk without loss of output quality.
Some key features:
- Laser Flatbed All-in-one
- 17 ppm
- 600x600 dpi
- 8MB Memory
- Operational Systems : Win 98/Me/2000/XP, Mac(Mac OS 8.6 or up)
- 250 Sheets Cassette
- Toner Capacity : 3,000 pages at 5% coverage
- 33.6 Kbps Fax Modem
The 30-page automatic document feeder is integrated into the cover over the glass of the scanner. The printed output tray is directly under the scanner in a kind of tunnel or niche. A wide ledge on the top front serves as the control panel with well-marked, nicely spaced buttons. The images below tell the story better than words.
The back stop on the paper tray can be easily adjusted to accommodate Letter, A4, and Legal size paper. The tray slides in and out smoothly. The manual feeder is a slot with adjustable width guides. It handles one sheet at a time. The image on the bottom right image above shows an envelope in the manual feeder.
The toner cartridge slides in from the front, just below the output tray and the blank paper tray at the bottom. Well-placed handles built into either side of the unit makes it easy to move around.
The power switch and all of the connections are placed on the lower part of the back panel:
- AC power socket
- Telephone line port
- Pass-through telephone port
- Parallel printer port
- USB port
The image on the right below shows the rear output cover open; this provides a straight paper path for things like envelopes. There is no real tray, just a little ledge that is too small for the output paper to remain on, so you probably should have a box to catch the output or manually take the output by hand.
To install the MFP SCX-4216F, run the USB cable to the PC, power up the printer, insert the installation CD and select autorun.exe (unless you have autoplay turned on). The following operating systems are supported:
° Windows 95 OSR2
° Windows 98/Windows 98 SE
° Windows Me
° Windows NT 4 Workstation or Server with Service Pack 3
° Windows 2000 Professional or Advanced Server
° Windows XP Home edition or Professional.
° MacIntosh System 8.6 or later (via USB 1.1 only)
Software installation using typical options occurred smoothly without any hitches on 3 networked systems. The MFP SCX-4216F was connected to a P4-2.4 system via USB 1.1 and set up as a shared fax and shared printer on the network. The scanner function is available only on the local computer directly connected to the SCX-4216F.
For a device with so many functions, the control panel is pleasantly uncluttered and the controls straightforward to operate. The controls related to output quality are grouped on the left. Below the 16 character x 2 lines menu display window are the 5 menu navigation and selection controls, alongside the read Stop/Clear and blue Start buttons. To the right of them are number keys for dialing numbers. These keys also double for letter inputs when necessary. The buttons grouped on the right are associated with faxing, with the gray buttons on the for right for economy printing and minimal fax call time settings.
It's interesting to note that for its fax and copier functions, the MFP SCX-4216F does not need to be connected to a PC at all; it can be completely stand-alone.
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