Samsung CLP-510 review

Price when reviewed

Several printers in this Labs cost around the £200 mark, but they don’t all offer the same value for money. The Samsung CLP-510 turned out to be the best bargain, largely due to running costs that nothing else here can match.

It comes with enough toner for 3,000 mono pages or 2,000 in colour, but once you’ve bought your first replacements you should see 7,000 and 5,000 pages respectively. This means you’ll replace them much less often than with most printers here.

Even factoring in other expensive consumables such as the image drum and transfer belt, printing with the Samsung will cost you just 1.3p per mono page and 6.4p for colour. Only the Epson and Konica Minolta rival these prices, but a look at our light-use scenario shows the CLP-510 is cheaper to run than its budget rivals. It’s ideal, then, if you’re looking for a colour laser for your home office.

We were surprised to find a built-in duplex unit, but it’s a standard feature on the CLP-500 series. Only the more expensive HP has a duplexer, but it also has Ethernet, which the CLP-510 lacks. The equivalent Samsung – the CLP-510n – costs £65 extra. But, a bonus is the 100-sheet multipurpose tray (the only one in the Labs), which is on the right-hand side of the printer. At the bottom on the front is a standard 250-sheet tray.

The CLP-510 is even reasonably quiet when printing, and the drivers are comprehensive. But the Samsung isn’t a perfect all-rounder. Being a four-pass unit, speed lags behind the more expensive printers. It took 32 seconds to print a single colour page from warm and our colour letter emerged at only 6ppm. For mono, the CLP-510 managed almost 24ppm, which is much more respectable. Duplex speeds were 6ppm in mono and 3ppm in colour.

Quality leaves something to be desired too. Business charts and tables looked fine from a distance, but characters were fuzzier than from other printers. Photos and images are less impressive – half-toning is easily seen, which makes everything appear grainy. Reds and blues were particularly off-colour, so if colour accuracy and colour quality are important the Samsung isn’t the best choice.

However, if you simply need colour output to add some flair, the Samsung is a bargain, especially if double-sided printing is a requirement. You may have to wait a little longer for colour pages, but with such low running costs it’s easily worth it.

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