OVERVIEW: If you decided it’s time upgrade your inkjet all-in-one to a laser version, you don’t have to settle for monochrome printing. For a basic 3-in-1 multi-function, with color laser printing that takes up no more space on a desk that many monochrome models, the Samsung CLX-3175 offers these features for a modest price.
Having a footprint only slightly larger than it’s monochromatic cousin, the SCX-4300, the CLX-3175 can sit at a desk or a credenza without appearing too obtrusive.
At a maximum print resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi, the CLX-3175 keeps text reasonably clear--and does a decent job with basic graphics. To keep from consuming too much toner, the printer has a 600 dpi resolution with a text-enhance or image-enhance switch. The Toner Save feature allows for a 40% toner life.
The control panel on the CLX-3175 allows a user to scan and make copies without using a computer. There is also an option for choosing whether to print in B&W to save on color toner and a Toner Save feature. As a copier, the 3-in-1 can zoom from 25% up to 400%, and make up to 99 copies in color or B&W.
The color scanner portion of the CLX-3175 is compatible with TWAIN & and XP/Vista’s WIA standards. Under TWAIN, the 1,200 x 1,200 dpi resolution can be increased to 4,800 x 4,800 dpi.
The CLX-3175 requires a USB 2.0 connection to a printer. It’s funny for a printer to offer the TWAIN scanner support (a pre-XP standard) and not have the ability to connect to older computers with parallel ports. While PC’s with a parallel interface have become few and far between, it’s nice to free up a USB port if your computer still has one.
While in Standby or Sleep mode you won’t even know that the multi-function is on at 27dB. And when it fires up at 52dB, the CLX is no noisier than low conversations. While 53 decibels may not be loud, it is annoying if the printer is sitting next to you printing 99 copies.
This multifunction has built-in an impressive 128MB of memory. While more memory cannot be added, this is more than plenty for all of your non-network printing needs.
The CLX-3175 comes standard with a 150-sheet tray, capable of handling up to legal-size paper. The single-sheet multi-purpose tray can handle transparencies, labels, post cards, envelopes, 3” x 5” postcards up to 8½” x 14” legal paper of various bond weights.
If you have a USB flash drive, the CLX-3175 can directly read from your device for scanning, copying, and printing standard image files. To make configuration recovery easy, information stored in the CLX-3175 memory can be backed up and restored using a USB Flash drive.
No PostScript emulator. The Samsung emulator will do the job, but imaging problems like “ghosting” can occur if trying to print certain graphics created by Adobe’s Photoshop or Illustrator without a PostScript print option.
One of the things you need to consider when you decide to get a color laser printer is if you want a “multi-pass” color printing or “single-pass” printing. A multi-pass printer can give you screaming print speeds in Black and White, but will be 4 times slower printing in color because the paper has to pass through each toner. It’s similar to the way t-shirts and banners were manually silk-screened.
The CLX-3175 prints up to 17 ppm in B&W and 4 ppm in color (remember about multi-pass color printing?). The print speed in B&W could stand to be better, especially since there are now inkjet printers that are faster than this laser.
The software package seems to skimp on features, especially for Mac OS users. It would be nice if Samsung’s SmartThru software expanded its Windows features to Linux and Mac OS systems.
INK / TONER NEEDS:
The CLX-3175 comes with toners only 2/3 full and the printer requires four of them—one for each of the CMYK colors. The standard yield cartridges can be purchased separately, especially if the black toner gets depleted at a higher rate than the other colors. Combo-packages fare available to save on costs.
Other consumables you’ll need to consider is replacing the waste toner container every 10,000 toner passes, and replacement of the Imaging Unit every 24,000 passes. One color page goes through 4 toner passes, while a B&W page only has 1 pass. So if you only do color printing, your time to replace these items is shortened up to a factor of 4.
Being a multi-purpose printer, one would expect the software to provide full functions for all the computer platforms Samsung claims it supports. The software in the CD-ROM is primarily for Windows compatible machines. For Windows users, the SmartThru software provides the most features, supporting not only scanning and printing, but offering an advanced printing section that allows for booklet printing, creating a large poster mosaics, and watermarks.
The Linux Unified Driver Configurator software allows for scanned images to manipulated and edited. For Macintosh users, the CD-ROM has a couple of basic drivers for printing and a TWAIN driver for scanning. There is no additional software support: you either must have a 3rd party application that manages scanners or use the Mac’s own Image Capture (only available on Mac OS 10.4.7 and higher).
The CLX-3175 3-in-one color printing and the ability to read from USB flash memory. -- Mel Myers