Samsung's SCX-5835FN monochrome laser multifunction offers an internal hard drive, cheap consumables and fast printing: everything you would expect from a large office multifunction. Unfortunately, its price tag is similar to colour laser multifunctions.
It is an expensive multifunction, but it has an integrated fax, automatic duplexing (for double-sided printing) and an internal 80GB hard drive to store print jobs. USB and Ethernet ports are available for hooking the printer up directly to a PC or connecting it to a network; there are also two additional USB ports for direct printing and scanning.
The Samsung SCX-5835FN laser multifunction has the same boxy shape and bland grey colour scheme the market has seen for years, though we do like some aspects of its design. Unlike the CLP-660ND colour laser printer, the output pile is situated in the middle of the printer's front panel, making printed pages easy to retrieve.
Samsung has implemented a large touch panel on the SCX-5835FN that is similar to those on the larger multifunctions found in medium to large businesses. The main menu provides quick access to scan, copy and fax functions, as well as job storage and SmarThru Workflow (an optional software feature that provides greater control over scanning). The touch panel is quite responsive and fairly easy to use, though doesn't significantly increase functionality compared to a physical control panel.
Like Fuji Xerox's DocuPrint C1190FS, you can password protect individual files sent to the hard drive by choosing a four digit PIN when printing a document. However, the SCX-5835FN lacks the ability to configure user print and scan boxes like the Konica Minolta's bizhub 421. There is also no way to transfer files from a USB flash drive to the internal hard drive.
Toner is replaced through a panel below the output tray, and this also doubles as a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray for different sized media. A 500-sheet cassette tray sits on the bottom, and you can add an additional 500-sheet tray for $473.
Samsung targets the SCX-5835FN at workgroups printing 5000 pages per month, but it has a quoted duty monthly cycle of 80,000 pages. Consumables are cheap, averaging 3c per A4 page when using high-yield toners. The Web interface offers access to many of the same functions available from the touch panel, as well as some additional network security options like IP filtering. A big boon is the Java-based Job Manager, which mimics the job queue found on the printer itself. From here you can upload files to be printed — though only PRN and PDF files are supported — as well as keep track of printed files and monitor internal hard drive use.
Provided the Samsung SCX-5835FN monochrome laser multifunction printer hasn't entered energy-saving mode, it is speedy. The first page of a document is printed in an average of 10 seconds, while subsequent pages are printed at a consistent rate of 35.3 pages per minute.
Text characters in monochrome documents are accurate and very readable. Smaller type tends to appear a dark grey rather than black, a problem the SCX-5835FN solves through its "Print All Text to Darken" feature. Unlike the Samsung CLP-660ND colour laser printer's poor implementation of the same feature, enabling this option on the SCX-5835FN makes text darker and easier to read without bolding text or sacrificing accuracy. Blacks are not consistent enough for large high quality graphics, but the laser multifunction does a reasonable job for small images.
Scanned graphics are generally under-saturated, which causes some inaccurate colours, but they still provide sufficient detail. Scans can be initiated from the touch panel and sent directly to local or networked computers, as well as to SMB/FTP shares or e-mailed. Disappointingly, there is no way to scan to the internal hard drive.
Though there are limitations on the use of its internal hard drive, the Samsung SCX-5835FN remains a capable workgroup multifunction printer for use in small businesses.