by August 4, 2005 0 comments

Samsung SCX 4720F
The right combination of performance, features and pricing makes this MFD the winner in this category. Plus, it comes with a lot of thoughtful extras such as a USB drive reader that allows you to scan images (in BMP, TIFF or PDF formats) directly onto a USB drive. It also comes with the option of adding a wireless network card that facilitates working in a Wi-Fi enabled environment. The MFD’s control panel is simple and easy-to-use. SCX 4720F can carry out most of its functions as a stand-alone unit. The console features a two-line LCD screen that helps navigating through the menu options. An interesting feature is the presence of a Toner Save button on the Control Panel itself to reduce running cost. The 4720F has a duty cycle of 15000 ppm, which is only surpassed by its sibling, the SCX 5315F. An ADF on top lets you copy up to 50 sheets without lifting the scanner lid. The copier lets you collate, create a nine-page poster of an original or resize copies from 25 % to 400%. In our tests it lived up to its rated speed of 22 ppm and was the fastest in its category. Output quality was very good for text, with easy readability at even 4 points. But it did not perform as well in our graphics test and faced
problems in printing fine curved lines. There was also distinctive banding in grayscale graphics. Scan quality was good though scanning was not as fast as the HP LaserJet 3030. The documentation provided with this MFD was disappointing as there was only a bare bones quick-start guide. The CD-ROM based PDF user guide though had well-explained sections on the various tasks, maintenance and troubleshooting.

RQS# E22 or SMS 130822 to 9811800601

Samsung SCX 5315F
The elder brother of SCX 4720F, the SCX 5315F comes with a few useful features such as auto-duplexing to print on both sides of the page without manual intervention. Unfortunately, unlike the SCX 4720F, it doesn’t have an option for memory expansion. The control panel has an array of buttons, which may look daunting at first, but are logically grouped making it easy to operate the unit. There are Push and Save buttons to perform specialized tasks such as Toner Save, Paper Save and Power Save that provide cost-efficient operating. The LCD display though small is easily readable.

This MFD is the only one in its category that comes with a copier design ie the drum and toner units are separate thus bringing down the running cost significantly. This unique design feature also increases the duty cycle of the MFD. In our tests the SCX 5315F matched its rated speed of 15 ppm. Copying can be done in three modes-Text, Mixed and Photo. Text mode is the fastest while Photo mode though slower provides much better copy quality. It also has useful copying features such as ID, Clone and Auto-Fit copying. ID copy allows the user to copy the front and back of an ID card without having to re-feed the page. A similar feature is clone copying which allows multiple images to be printed on the same page, the number of images being decided by the size of the images.

Text printing was of good quality and was easily readable even at smaller font sizes. The SCX 5315F performed well in the graphics printing tests with no visible jaggedness in curves or thin lines but there was slight banding in grayscale images. Scan quality was excellent at a color depth of 24-bits but much slower than other MFDs in its category. the SCX 5315F is the most expensive in its category, but if you need that kind of duty cycle, and are not very peculiar about print speeds, then it’s a good buy. 

RQS# E23 or SMS 130823 to 9811800601

HP LaserJet 3380     
This MFD is a solid buy for those who need fast monochrome prints and copies. It is a nice mix of all-in-one fax, copier, printer and scanner. This unit has an ADF mounted for the scanner as well which makes it easy to copy multiple pages at once. It has a dual line LCD panel and a large set of controls comfortably distributed and divided into easy to understand sections such as Copy, Fax etc. The MFD lives up to its claimed 20 ppm print speed. We also noticed that it took the least time to print a single page amongst all others in its category. That means the time taken to warm-up for this printer is the least among the others. The other key benefit of this MFD is the ease of usability. Just unpack the printer, connect the ADF and the document out tray, insert the toner and plug in the power cable and an independent copier is ready to serve your needs. If you want to connect it with a PC then you have to install the print driver which will then automatically detect and configure the printer to take print from the PC. Print quality of the MFD was good for both text and monochrome graphics. The foot print of the device is also fairly small and makes it easy to fit itself into today’s clumsy office cubicles. 
Another nice feature about the device is the 50 page automatic document feeder which comes along with the device and is a part of the base unit. That means you don’t have to pay extra for this. 

While it lives up to its rated specs, it’s expensive compared to others in the lot, and even has a lower duty cycle. So if you’re willing to pay extra for features like an ADF, and more connectivity options, then go for it. 

RQS# E24 or SMS 130824 to 9811800601

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