Samsung SCX-3205W review
We don’t often see home office mono lasers with scan and copy facilities, especially at prices as low as £107 exc VAT. Cheaper than many of Samsung’s standalone mono lasers, the SCX-3205W is surprisingly compact.
A 150-sheet paper tray in the base is accessible via a fold-down front flap. The paper comes out on to an extendable catcher above, and when the printer isn’t in use it shuts away to around 30cm deep. It comes with both USB 2 and Ethernet ports on the rear, but the simplest method of printing is via 802.11n Wi-Fi – we had it up and running on our Labs network in minutes.
A two-digit display keeps track of up to 99 copies, and there’s a useful button to copy both sides of a photo ID quickly for printing on a single page. An eco button switches to toner-saving mode, and a two-segment power and Wi-Fi light strip on the right corner adds a touch of style.
However, there’s a good reason for the low price: the print engine is essentially that of the bottom-end £63 exc VAT Samsung ML-1665. We didn’t quite reach the quoted 16ppm print speed, but it consistently topped 13ppm over a variety of text and image document types. A best-quality mono photomontage took 14 seconds, including 9 seconds of processing time, and time to first print varied between that and around 12 seconds.
Text is its strongest suit, with solid blacks and fine edges. It’s not so hot with images, with some noticeable grain in more detailed areas, but there is at least a visible improvement when you choose 1,200dpi over the standard 600dpi.
Unfortunately, the SXC-3205W’s scanner also reflects the price, with the pixel structure clearly visible; a thatched criss-cross effect afflicts images. Attempts to copy photos met with blotchy results, so it’s best to view the Samsung’s scan and copy component as a tool primarily for documents. It also won’t trouble the Pixmas and Photosmarts of this world in terms of speed.
Still, it’s a do-it-all printer and copier for just £107, and although it comes with an annoying 700-page starter cartridge in the box, a full 1,500-page cartridge will get you a reasonable cost of 2.9p per A4 page. Whether that adds up to a bargain depends on your viewpoint: adding a scanner to the top of a £63 printer and charging double certainly looks steep, but if you just want a runaround laser for the office, the addition of a copier adds a lot of budget appeal.
|Resolution printer final||1200 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||16PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||2.9p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||N/A|
Power and noise
|Peak noise level||49.0dB(A)|
|Dimensions||388 x 299 x 234mm (WDH)|
|Copier rated mono speed||16cpm|
|Mono print speed (measured)||13.1ppm|
|Colour print speed||N/A|
|Input tray capacity||150 sheets|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||no|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Other operating system support||Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, various Linux OSes|