Samsung claims the SCX-3205 can reach print speeds of 16ppm and we have to say we believe it probably can. Our five-page text print managed 11.1ppm, but when we printed the 20-page document, it rose to 14.3ppm, so with longer documents or those with less on each page, it should be able to get to 16ppm.
That’s not to mention the Eco-Print mode, where two pages are printed on each sheet. It takes a bit longer to rasterise these double pages, but again the quoted speed should be reachable. 16ppm isn’t bad for an all-in-one costing under £120 (excluding delivery) and should be fast enough for the kind of small and home office use the printer’s aimed at.
The other part of the speed test that threw up a surprising result was the single-page A4 copy from the flatbed. This completed in a mere nine seconds; compare this with the HP LaserJet M1212nf MFP, which took 15 seconds, 67 per cent longer. The 15 x 10cm photo print on the Samsung took 12 seconds, which is also quick for a comparatively high-resolution print.
The quality of the prints we saw is well up to the standard we come to expect from Samsung. Text from the 1,200dpi enhanced print engine is very clean and well-formed, and could be used for any small business document without problem.
Greyscale graphics are also above average, with very little sign of banding and good, varied greyscales for areas of solid fill. There are enough shades to distinguish between different colours, too. The greyscale copy was also better than from the previous generation Samsung machines, although there is still some blotchiness when it comes to copying fills.
The photo print, while showing an obvious dot pattern, was also commendably free of banding and managed to reproduce shadow detail many other budget laser printers miss.
A single, 1,500-sheet drum and toner cartridge is the only consumable in the SCX-3205 and, at the best price we could find, gives a cost per page of 4p. While this is quite high when you compare it with equivalent inkjet printer costs, something many potential customers still fail to note, it’s only slightly above average when compared with other mono lasers. The HP LaserJet M1212nf MFP, for example, costs just 0.2p per page less.
Without going overboard, Samsung has added in three useful utilities to the feature set of the SCX-3205. Screen print, Eco-Print and ID card print are all handy functions and ones not easy to find in other, similarly priced, all-in-ones. Given its reasonable asking price, it’s likely to help continue Samsung’s successful spread into the mono laser printer market.