Samsung's CLP-660ND is a capable colour laser printer with features that will suit small businesses. It provides automatic duplexing and can connect to a network, but print quality is inconsistent.
The Samsung CLP-660ND has a 250-sheet paper cassette and a 100-sheet multiple purpose tray. An additional 500-sheet paper tray can be added for $473. The printer has USB and Ethernet ports. It is powered by a 533MHz processor and 128MB of memory, which is user-upgradeable to a maximum of 640MB. There are plenty of flaps and panels from which you can retrieve jammed pages and easily replace the printer's consumables.
Colour toners are aligned vertically behind a large panel on the front of the CLP-660ND colour laser printer. Like Fuji Xerox's DocuPrint C2120, pages are fed through the front of the printer rather than the back, so the paper cassette is slightly longer than the printer unit itself. Unlike the DocuPrint C2120, the CLP-660ND's cassette doesn't protrude much out of the back and doesn't make too much of a difference to the printer's footprint. The output pile is at the very back of the printer. This makes printed pages difficult to retrieve if the printer is placed on a high desk.
Consumables for the Samsung CLP-660ND colour laser printer are slightly expensive; even using high yield cartridges the printer will cost an average of 17.5c per A4 page. This cost is slightly lower than cheaper laser printers, but is beaten by some inkjet multifunctions; HP's Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless, for example.
Through the Samsung CLP-660ND's control panel you can adjust colour registration, default graphics resolution and duplex settings, as well as initiate basic maintenance tasks. Manual colour registration settings are also available, but there is no option to print a colour chart or reference sheet, so performing this task involves trial and error.
The Web-based interface provides slightly more control, with access to printer and network settings as well as e-mail notifications. An IP filter can be configured from the interface, and the printer also provides UPnP capability, making the CLP-660ND easier to find over networks.
Print speed is consistent across quality and colour settings. The CLP-660ND colour laser printer takes roughly 15.5 seconds to print the first page of documents, and prints subsequent pages at a rate of 25 pages per minute.
Though accurate, text characters seem more dark grey than black. There is a workaround — a quality setting labelled "print text to darken" — but this is very inconsistent and makes random words or phrases bold rather than the entire document. Unfortunately the setting enables itself each time you print, causing a documents to look blotchy.
We experienced colour registration issues in our tests, which was only partially resolved from the integrated maintenance processes. Even without these problems, colours are bland in general, marked by overly dark greens and blues. Even at the highest quality setting colour graphics are low resolution, causing inconsistent colours that ruin the overall look.
Though the Samsung CLP-660ND colour laser printer has some merits — user-upgradeable memory and automatic duplexing — print quality simply isn't up to scratch. If quality is a primary concern, you can grab Fuji Xerox's DocuPrint C2200 for a similar price.
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