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9/10

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Samsung SCX-4600 - Laser MFP - Samsung SCX-4600

Samsung continues to make best-case speed claims about its laser printers, which don't include processing time, just the time the machine is actually feeding paper. Using this methodology, the SCX-4600 is rated at 22ppm. In a more real-world situation, our five-page text print took 24 seconds, which is equivalent to 12.5ppm. The longer 20-page one completed in 1:16, a slightly better 15.79ppm. So, it managed around 75% of the rated speed, which isn't bad.

The five-page text and graphics print gave a speed of just over 9ppm and a single page copy from the flatbed took 13 seconds. A 15 x 10cm photo print took only slightly longer, at 14 seconds.
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The prints these tests produced were all of very good quality, belying the low-cost of the machine. Text print was crisp and solidly black, with no noticeable spread or spattering of toner and produced well-formed characters, even at small point sizes.

Greyscale graphics are also good, with clean dot patterns and enough shades of grey to distinguish between different colour hues in an original. There weren't many signs of banding, either. The only duff cannon in the machine's arsenal is when copying greyscales, which are blotchy and much darker than the originals from which they're copied. It's fine for text and solid graphics, but not ideal for greys.

Photo images, which can be printed at up to 1,200dpi, are good for a mono multifunction in this price bracket. They give clean areas of sky, with only a little banding apparent. Detail is good though, as usual, some darker shades tend to black.
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The all-in-one drum and toner cartridges are available in 1,500 and 2,500 page capacities and using the higher yield version gives a cost per ISO page of 3.15p, including 0.7p for paper. This is slightly more expensive than, for example, the £112 OKI MP260, which managed 2.95p from the same calculation. It's still not a bad result, though, for a £100 multifunction.

Verdict

This is a well-designed, nicely integrated multifunction printer, which is well capable of handling reasonable workloads in a SOHO environment. It's fast, easy to maintain and won't cost you the earth to run. While it's very much a one-per-desk solution, without built-in networking, extra features, such as the simple, one-click screen print, make it a very attractive proposition.

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