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The SCX-4300 is quite a nippy little printer, completing our five-page text document in just 30 seconds, or 10ppm. The text and graphics pages (five of them again) are even quicker at 11.54ppm and when we printed our 20-page document, it took 1:21, increasing the speed again to 14.81ppm. Samsung's claimed top speed is 18ppm, so for a printer maker that’s almost obscenely accurate.
A single page photocopy finished in 11 seconds, so you could get six or so pages per minute from the machine and a 15 x 10cm photo took little more, at 13 seconds. Both these speeds are impressive, particularly for a machine being sold at around £100 - less minus delivery.
Print quality in most areas is good. Although the maximum resolution of the machine is just 600dpi, there's little visible sign of jagged diagonals or curves in text. When you add greyscale graphics, the quality isn't quite so good, with some striping apparent and not many visible grey shades.
This is accentuated in photographic prints which, as well as having a course print matrix, also suffer from obvious micro-banding and lose a lot of detail in darker, shadowed areas. Finally, photocopies of greyscales, particularly those printed by the machine itself, look horrible, as if parts of the surface of the prints have been scrubbed off. We've noticed this with other Samsung all-in-one machines and with some other makes, too, and think it’s a product of the Contact Image Scanner (CIS) scanning technology clashing with the dot patterns in its print matrix, a bit like bad Moire fringes.
The SCX-4300 uses an integrated drum and toner cartridge, capable of printing 2,000 ISO pages. With a typical cost of just under £40, this gives a cost per page of 2.7p including paper costs. This is a fairly typical cost for a mono laser device and for black print from a colour one, too, so you're not paying extra because of the comparatively low purchase price of the all-in-one itself.
This is a good, straightforward multifunction printer which would be very at home in a typical SOHO environment. It's quite quick, produces good text and passable graphics, though copies of graphics, particularly of greyscale shades, can be very patchy. Running costs are reasonable and if your budget is tight this looks like a good way of providing yourself with the main office print, scan and copy functions at reasonable cost.
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