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Samsung SCX-4500 - Samsung SCX-4500
Samsung supplies a good suite of software, including its own ScanThru application for scanning, which includes built-in OCR, colour correction and de-screening.
Samsung claims a print speed of 16ppm for the SCX-4500 and our five page text and text and graphics tests took 29 and 28 seconds, respectively, which gives real-world speeds of 10.3ppm and 10.7ppm. While these aren't breath-taking, they're adequate for general home or home office use, which is where this machine is obviously aimed.
Copy speeds are improved by the clever technique of running both scanner and print engines at the same time. Where most all-in-ones complete a scan first and then start to print, the SCX-4500 starts printing when only about a third of the target document being scanned has been scanned. This gives a single page scan-time of just 11 seconds, ideal if you need to run off a copy in a hurry.
The quality of prints produced by the machine is well above average. Text is crisp and dense with no signs of toner spatter and, even given Samsung's claim of a 600dpi ‘effective' resolution, which usually means software enhancement of a lower resolution, there's no sign of jaggies on curves or diagonals.
Business graphics are also well reproduced, with clean greyscales and very little sign of banding. Photocopies of greyscales are another matter, though, as they come out with noticeable blotchiness and aren't really suitable for presentation handouts. Finally, photographic prints work surprisingly well, with very slight banding and good grey levels, though darker tones wash out to black too readily.
The only consumable in the Samsung machine is a single-piece print cartridge, good for 2,000 pages at 5 per cent cover. A typical Internet price for this unit is around £40, giving a cost per page of 2.84p, including paper. This compares quite well with other mono laser all-in-ones we've tested recently and is certainly not a reason for crossing this good-looking machine off your shortlist.
The SCX-4500 is all about style. It's clean, black lines mean it fits in with a variety of black and silver PCs or even older, white Macs. It prints well, scans reasonably and copies fast, but has a few shortcomings, particularly the 100-sheet paper tray and mean-spirited, 1,000 page starter cartridge. You pay for the looks, but there's a fair all-in-one under the black, shiny skin.