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Most multifunction printers take advantage of the relatively low cost of inkjet print engines, but for office use it’s often more important to have low running costs and quick print. Samsung has recently released a replacement for its entry-level laser multifunction machine, based on a mono laser engine. The SCX-4200 has a very modest footprint, but doesn't scrimp on performance.
From on top, the machine isn’t much bigger than an A4 sheet and it’s only slightly higher than one, too. It's very conventionally laid out, with a 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom, a feed slot for special media above this, then an output slot for printed pages and above that the control panel and the cover for the flatbed scanner.
The control panel is very straightforwardly designed, with a two-line LCD display and a row of eight buttons. Five of these work the device's simple menu system, while the other three start copy and scanned jobs and select the number of copies. Various manipulations, such as enlargement and reduction can be controlled from the panel, so you can use the device completely independently of its connection to a PC.
At the back are mains and USB 2 sockets; there's no facility for networking this device, either via a cable or wirelessly.
Pull down the front cover and you have full access to the toner and drum cartridge, which is the only consumable in the SCX-4200. A standard cartridge for the device is rated at 3,000, five per cent cover pages, but the machine comes with a ‘starter’ cartridge, good for only 1,000 pages.
We see absolutely no justification for supplying cartridges with less than the standard amount of toner in them with new printers and multifunction devices. It provides no benefit to the purchaser, who will have to go out and buy a replacement cartridge sooner than she/he expects, and is only of value to the manufacturer, who can keep the purchase price of the device down.
Installation comprises software set-up for the driver and a couple of applications, but is still very straightforward. The bundled software includes ReadIris OCR and the eccentrically-named SmarThru. The program itself is much more mainstream, working a bit like a simplified PaperPort. It oversees scanning, OCR and even simple image editing in a step-by-step way.
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