Samsung's CLX-6210FX colour laser multifunction printer offers mid-range features at an affordable price. It provides acceptable speed, but suffers from print quality issues, including inaccurate colours and inconsistent monochrome results.
At 645.2mm, the CLX-6210FX colour laser multifunction is easily taller than Dell's 2135cn and HP's Colour LaserJet CM1312nfi. Despite being quite tall, its total input capacity is still only 350 sheets (the same as the afore-mentioned multifunction devices) through a 250-sheet cassette and a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray. A second 250-page cassette can be added for $473. The output tray can hold up to 170 sheets at a time.
The Samsung CLX-6210FX colour laser multifunction provides USB, Ethernet and RJ-11 fax connections on its side. A second USB 2.0 port on the front of the multifunction can be used to scan to or print from USB flash drives.
Out of the box, the CLX-6210FX is equipped with 128MB of memory, but this is user-upgradeable to a maximum of 384MB. The printer's other optional extra, an 80GB internal hard drive, enables a Stored Jobs feature which lets you save files to the printer.
The CLX-6210FX has a confusing control panel with a numeric keypad and speed dial buttons for the fax. There are also numerous buttons to configure duplex and various copy settings. It would be better if you could access these features using a menu on the 2-line monochrome LCD instead of extra buttons on the panel. You will adjust to the panel's layout, but it could be simplified.
Before you can start printing, the CLX-6210FX needs to warm up, and this can take a frustratingly long time. Once, it's warmed up, though, its print speeds are decent. In 'ready' mode, and regardless of the quality setting, the unit takes 28.5 seconds to print the first page of a colour or monochrome document, with subsequent pages printing at a consistent 20 pages per minute.
Mono text documents are readable and have accurate characters, but can appear somewhat undersaturated. The CLX-6210FX's "Print All Text to Darken" feature attempts to fix this, but instead it produces inconsistently bolded characters that tend to ruin documents. Luckily, this feature can easily be disabled.
Though the CLX-6210FX colour laser multifunction automatically alters colour registration between printing tasks, we still noticed alignment issues in our colour documents. We did manage to fix this issue, however, by enabling the multifunction's Colour Smart "Fine Grain" feature. This reduced alignment issues dramatically. Unfortunately, even with this problem resolved, colour from the Samsung CLX-6210FX is largely oversaturated and inconsistent. The colour quality will suffice for smaller graphics, but large blocks of the same colour will suffer.
Scanning can be initiated directly from the CLX-6210FX colour laser multifunction, and results can be sent to local and networked PCs as well as SMB/CFIS and FTP servers, and USB flash drives. Scan jobs can also be initiated from a PC using Samsung's SmarThru Office software, which mimics the standard Windows Explorer window. Unfortunately, this is difficult to use and a poor alternative to directly scanning from the multifunction itself.
The Samsung CLX-6210 colour laser multifunction's price tag and features are alluring, and its running costs — 17.5c per A4 page — aren't to shabby either. Unfortunately, it is hard to use and lacks the print quality we'd like from a laser printer, even at this price.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu