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 Post subject: Samsung CLX-2160
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8052
Location: UK
(edit: with hindsight, should I have put this into user reviews?)

This is a multi-function device containing a scanner and colour laser printer. I bought this for two reasons: my old mono laser was running low on toner, and replacement toner cost more than the printer did. Secondly, I wanted colour at minimal cost, that wasn't an inkjet. In the past I found inkjets had a nasty habit of drying out due to my slow usage patterns, so were grossly uneconomic. The presence of the scanner was a nice bonus that tipped me over.

On the printer side. As said, it is a colour laser. Black text is fine, but colour seems to be a weak point. Images never look clear, and it seems to default to over-saturating. This has been used both in windows with the supplied printer driver, and also under ubuntu with the distro supplied driver. They do look different, but neither are what I'd class as "good". It would be ok for basic coloured features, but it is NOT photo grade at any stretch of the imagination. Maybe with more tinkering with the various settings a reasonable photo image can be produced, but certainly it isn't even close out of the box. I suspect the driver is optimised to deliver punch for presentation type graphics, with no obvious or simple way to tune for photos. Saturation and contrast are both too high.

The scanner is similar too. In a test scan of a subtly coloured drawing, colours were rendered highly saturated and over-contrasty. Again there may be more settings to bring this back, but I'm not too optimistic.

Being a multi-function device, it also has a copy mode. Surely that is adjusted to give a print out that closely resembles what you put in? No. Again, the contrast/saturation were way too high.

As a final comment, the printer does give off a strong "laser printer" smell. Might be ok in a large open office, but in my house the smell builds up quickly.

Overall, great for simple (non-photo) prints but don't expect to get realistic looking photos out of it. I knew it was never going to give a true photo like print, but it failed even to meet my lower expectations.

Edit2: I just checked for and updated the windows driver. It does seem to have improved the quality to what I'd say is an ok level for photos. There is some banding both horizontally and vertically but more importantly the colours look quite realistic now. It still is no substitute for a dedicated photo printer, but good enough for me.

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