Laser-based, multifunction printers are proving increasingly popular, as they provide copying and faxing as well as print and scan. One of Samsung's latest releases is the SCX-4824FN, which is aimed at the SOHO market and including a couple of useful extra functions.
Designed with a curved and slightly chunky appearance, this multifunction machine combines a mono laser printer with an A4 flatbed scanner, complete with a 30-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). Both the ADF feed and the output tray are near the horizontal, so the sheet feeder adds little to the overall height of the machine.
There's quite a large gap between the top of the laser printer section and the underside of the control panel, though this does make it easier to take paper from the output tray. Although there's a small stub extension and a flip-up paper stop, neither of these is needed under normal printing.
There's a 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom of the machine and a rather large, flip-down cover reveals a slot for special-purpose papers, but only a single sheet at a time. A second, 250-sheet tray is available as an option, though this raises the whole machine by 80mm or so.
The control panel runs the full width of the device and includes a 2-line by 16-character, mono LCD display, a disk of menu navigation controls and a number pad for fax dialling. There are large start and stop buttons at the right-hand end of the control panel and an ID Copy button, which enables you to scan one side of an ID card, flip it over and scan the second side, before printing out both images on a single side of the paper.
Sockets at the back of the SCX-4824FN provide USB and Ethernet connections, as well as sockets for a fax line and an optional handset. There's no provision for wireless networking, though you could use a third-party wireless print server if Wi-Fi operation is important to you.
Hardware setup is pretty straightforward, as the only consumable is a single-piece drum and toner cartridge. This slides in from the front, once you've hinged the front panel down. Software installation is easy, too, as there's only a driver and Samsung's SmarThru and Dr. Printer utilities to install. Support is provided for Windows 2000, XP and Vista, Mac OS X 10.3 and above, as well as various versions of Linux.