Samsung rates the printer at 24ppm in both black and colour print and this isn't unduly optimistic. Although the five-page black text print returned a fairly slow 9.7ppm and the five-page black text and colour graphics job only lifted this to 12.5ppm, the 20-page black text test returned 18.2ppm - just over two thirds of the claimed speed.
The printer has a duplexer built-in and when we ran the 20-page document as a 10-page duplex test, it completed in 2mins 7secs, giving a speed of 9.5 sides per minute. This is less than spectacular, largely because the paper is nearly fully ejected before being reversed and taken back in to print the second side. Some printer makers have recently developed interleaving techniques for duplex print, which increase the overall speed.
Black text is well formed, as is the case with most modern laser printers, and is perfectly adequate for day-to-day documents. It's better than the output from any inkjet and easily matches that from most mono laser printers.
This is a printer aimed at business documents, so colour output is geared towards graphics rather than photographs. It does pretty well at this, reproducing bright and vivacious colours ideal for graphs and charts. These are impressively smooth in their application, too, with few signs of patchiness or banding. There's also very little haloing and black text over colour looks clean and accurately positioned.
Even photographic output is reasonable for a colour laser printer and at the highest resolution, an enhanced 9,600 x 600dpi, the results are better than many. Although some detail is still lost in areas of deep shadow, colour variations are smooth and reasonably natural.
This is a relatively quiet printer for its class and we measured peak noise levels of only 62dBA. This may not seem much lower than the 66-67dBA levels we've commented on previously as noisy. Remember, though, that sound levels are measured on a logarithmic scale, so a small numerical difference can mean a big difference in perceived sound.
The cost per page of running this machine is derived from two consumables: the combined drum and toner cartridges and the transfer belt, which has a healthy service life of 50,000 pages. In many environments, only one fresh belt will be needed during the printer's entire use.
The drum and toner cartridges are available in standard yields of 2,000 pages for colour and 2,500 for black and in high yields of 4,000 pages and 5,000 pages, respectively. Using the high-yield parts for better economy gives costs of 3.1p for black and 11.3p the colour. The black page cost is a little high for a printer costing over £400, though the colour cost is below average.
This is a good, robust colour laser printer with cost-saving duplex print as standard, a reasonable turn of speed and above-average print quality. Print costs are in the middle of the field, becoming slightly better when printing colour, and it has the feel of a printer that will just sit there and do its job.