Samsung was a latecomer to the laser printer market, compared with the likes of Canon, HP and Lexmark, but the price/performance ratio of both its monochrome and colour printers has earned it a deserved section of the business market. The CLP-510 is a high-end personal printer or a low-end workgroup one, at a price that should be affordable for anyone who needs a colour laser.
This is a substantial printer, more like a desktop photocopier in size and weight and it sits sideways on the desktop like most photocopiers, too. Its control panel lies along one of its longer sides, the paper tray takes sheets up to A4 in landscape mode and the front cover flips down like a copier, if you need to attend to paper jams – we didn't.
As well as a 16 character LCD display, alas with no backlight, there's a miniature diagram of the CLP-510, complete with inset LEDs, to indicate any possible faults. This diagram shows a second, optional paper tray sitting beneath the machine and this tray can hold 500 sheets, to supplement the 250-sheet standard tray and a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray, which folds down from the right-hand side.
The printer – which has a native resolution of 600dpi, doubled through software enhancement – also includes duplex printing as standard, so the only other options you can add are extra memory, taking it up from the 64MB already fitted, and an optional network card, which can be either straight Ethernet or Ethernet and WiFi.
To set the printer up physically, you need to install seven different consumables. A cover folds down from the left-hand side to reveal the four toner cartridges and there's an interlock between this cover and one on the top of the machine, which gives access to the transfer belt and imaging unit. Finally, the front cover provides access to a waste toner bottle. All these consumables have different service lives, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the printer’s duty cycle to keep replacements in.
The only PC connection provided as standard is a USB 2.0 port and, unusually, you connect this up before installing the Windows software driver. The driver is comprehensive, including selections for multiple pages per sheet, various duplex modes, watermarks and overlays. There’s quite subtle manual adjustment for colour rendition, too, though no attempt to conform to standard colour systems, such as Pantone. You could fiddle for hours to tailor the printer to your needs.