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We reviewed the Samsung SCX 4500 in all its sleek, black glossiness a few months back, but knock just 200 off the model number and £100 off the asking price and you have the SCX-4300. This is also a mono, laser-based all-in-one printer, decked out in black plastic, but it has a much more conventional design and in some ways a more practical approach to what is needed.
The SCX-4300 has a neat footprint for an office all-in-one machine, a little wider than a typical personal laser printer, but with very similar depth and height. The sides of the machine flare slightly at the top to accommodate the A4 scanner mechanism which, unlike the SCX-4500’s, sits across the laser engine from left to right, rather than from front to back.
The control panel consists of a two line by 16 character LCD display, which has no backlight but is still easy to read under normal ambient light. The eight control buttons work well with the display and the menu system for the devices major settings is easy to navigate.
Directly beneath the control panel is a slot for emerging pages and there's a small pull-out end stop, though pages don't normally fall onto the desk even if you don't extend this. At the bottom of the front panel is a 250-sheet feed tray, over double the capacity of the SCX-4500, and a single sheet multi-purpose slot for special media.
Although the scanner section lifts up and is supported by a spring-loaded prop, it only lifts just enough to get your hand in, in case there's a paper jam. It would be more convenient if it swung up to the vertical, as with most all-in-ones. At the back are sockets for power and USB, the only data connection to this machine.
The front panel of the machine hinges down to provide access to the integrated toner and drum cartridge, which slides in from the front. This is quite a tight fit and takes a bit of wiggling to get into place. Samsung provides a ‘starter’ cartridge with the SCX-4300, good for only 1,000 ISO pages, half the normal capacity. Given the asking price of the printer, though, this is perhaps excusable.
The software supplied with the machine is Samsung's standard coupling of its SmarThru 4 and Dr. Printer utilities. The first deals with scanning, copying and printing, as well as sharing images, while the second is a diagnostic website. The driver itself handles watermarks, overlays and various print quality settings, laid out in a logical and easy-to-navigate panel.
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