SAMSUNG SCX-4500: Quality printing on a budget

SAMSUNG SCX-4500: Quality printing on a budget

The Samsung SCX-4500 is a good overall performer, offering the benefits of high-quality monochrome laser prints and colour scans without putting a dent in the budget. Most laser multifunction devices (MFDs) have the ability to print in colour and are built for SMBs; but the daily cost of colour printing is expensive. For the cost conscious, a monochrome multifunction laser printer such as Samsung's SCX-4500, which includes a built-in scanner and copier, is a welcome alternative.

The SCX-4500 is light and compact for an MFD, weighing about 8.6kg. However, it lacks an output tray for prints.

Quick and quiet, the SCX-4500 features an intuitive, touch-sensitive control panel with only seven buttons (Power, Start Copy, Scan to PC, Stop/ Clear, Darkness, Reduce/Enlarge, and Copies).

The panel's simplicity makes it easy to work this printer; there's no fretting over the controls.

The SCX-4500's scanning software is intuitive and well designed, too. Users will appreciate the software's options; for example, they can set image type (such as true colour RGB and line art), resolution (up to 600 x 2400dpi), document type, and filters to adjust sharpness or blur.

The SCX-4500 turned in speedy print results.

It took 13 seconds to print a one page Word document, 46 seconds to print a 10-page Word document, and 31 seconds to print a four-page PDF. The scanning speed isn't shabby either. With sharpening turned off, the scanner took 77 seconds to scan an 8 x 10-inch photo at 600dpi, and 78 seconds to scan a 4 x 6-inch photo at 1200dpi.

When it comes to image quality, the SCX-4500 doesn't disappoint. The machine earned a Good rating (on a scale of Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor) from our panel of experts in the text quality test; overall, text appeared clean and smooth, but not as sharp as the output from other laser printers we've tested.

Print quality lost integrity at finer point sizes. On our graphics, fine lines, and gradients test, the SCX-4500 earned a Good rating: fine lines were clean and well preserved, gradients looked flushed and weren't well-distinguished, and graphics looked professional though a bit dotty.

The SSCX-4500's copy quality looked rich and detailed but a bit too grainy overall, earning a Very Good rating. The scanner tool got a Very Good rating for colour: compared to our control photo of a picnic, the SCX-4500's scan output looked pleasing but a bit too blue.

The scanner received a Good rating for clarity: overall, the scans appeared a little soft and could have been sharper.

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