Samsung CLP-300

Less than stellar print quality and glacial colour printing mar this otherwise admirable stab at shrinking the colour laser printer and making them more user friendly.


5.8
CNET Rating
5.0
User Rating

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Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


Design
If you think of design award winners, one immediately pictures elegant Maseratis and minimalist iPods. However, at first glance, the purplish-grey box that is the Samsung CLP-300 seems to do nothing to justify the Red Dot Design Award 2006 sticker it proudly wears.

With the CLP-300 Samsung are aiming to make colour laser printing a viable option for home users and small offices, although they're not the first to give it a shot. HP already has its colour LaserJet 1600 on the market for AU$499. Like they did with mobile phones, Samsung are hoping to muscle into the market with a mix of competitive pricing -- the CLP-300 also retails for AU$499 -- and innovation.

The CLP-300's first hook is that Samsung have squished a colour laser printer into the space normally occupied by a run-of-the-mill mono laser printer. It is, they claim, "the world's smallest colour laser printer". To further help it appeal to mums and dads, as well as small business operators, Samsung have replaced the usual bulky, cumbersome and dusty toner cartridges with a set of colour-coded cylinders. Replacing toner is simply a matter of flipping down the front panel, pulling out the old cylinder and slotting in the new.

Running costs should be competitive, as the larger black cartridge (AU$99) should be sufficient for about 2,000 pages and the smaller colour cartridges (AU$89) about 1,000 pages each.

In order to bring in the printer at this price point, and fit it into a smaller footprint, a number of compromises and design quirks have snuck in. For example, the adjustable paper input tray can fit up to 150 sheets of A4 but the output tray can only hold 100 sheets; so, vigilance is required when printing lengthy documents. There's no LCD status display -- its control panel consists of a simple status light (green for okay, red otherwise) and an orange button to cancel any current jobs. Most disappointing though is that printing colour requires four passes, cutting output speed from 16 pages-per-minute (ppm) in monochrome to just four ppm in colour.

Features
The CLP-300 is built purely for printing from your computer; there's no memory card reader, PictBridge support, scanner or fax to add cost or bulkiness. It connects to either your PC or Mac via USB 2.0; however, as is the custom, the cable has to be purchased separately. Office users who don't want to have an always-on computer acting as a printer server should consider the AU$100 more expensive CLP-300N which has a built-in 10/100 Ethernet card.

Powered by a none-too-muscular 300MHz processor and with only 32MB of on-board memory, the CLP-300's output speed is dependent on your computer. Additionally, its lack of a LCD status window means that all warning and error messages are delivered to your desktop via the installed drivers.

Performance and Image Quality
During our testing the CLP-300 regularly spat out monochrome text documents at 14 ppm, just a bit shy of Samsung's claimed 16 ppm. Some found its text reproduction acceptable; others found the output to be tiring on the eyes as it was soft and indistinct.

Like most colour laser printers, the CLP-300 doesn't excel at reproducing photographs. As expected, dithering is quite obvious, while highlights had much of their detail bleached out. In fairness the CLP-300 isn't meant to produce studio quality prints, but provide a splash of colour to documents, reports, presentations or school projects. Its raison d'être is hurt, though, by its four-pass design. As noted earlier, the merest hint of colour drops output to four ppm.

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rich_787 posted a comment   
Australia

Great printer, was given to me from a friend around 1 yr ago and has been running without a problem, however trying to print business card labels from cardboard type paper was troublesome (i guess most or ALL printers would have difficulty with this...)

We keep our printer upstairs in a small room without any air con, so wouldve thought that the toner catridges would die sooner due to excess heat, but after 4 years of medium use the toner catridges are just showing a warning LED flash for changing, but suprisingly enough NOT the black catridge.

Overall, very satisfied with it

NadiaK Facebook
8
Rating
 

"fast laser printer, great quality, but shame about the squeaking..."

NadiaK posted a review   
Australia

The Good:super fast, network ready printer

The Bad:Started squeaking while printing about 12 months after purchase

Overall a great printer, however when it started squeaking while printing and increasing got louder I was glad the printer was in another room in the house. The squeaking starting about 12 months or so after purchasing it so it went quite well for ages beforehand. Despite the squeaking it prints black and white super fast and colour quite well too. Have finally decided to upgrade to something new after getting sick of the squeaking and noticed its been stopping randomly between prints with the red light coming on. I can't be bothered getting it sent away for a service or repair as its cheaper and easier to buy a new printer.

Ninas
1
Rating
 

Ninas posted a review   

The Good:No

The Bad:Terrible

We bought a Samsung CLP300 printer from BBC Technology in Sydney. It proved to be a dud. The printing quality is very poor, with a line going down the page where no printing takes place.

I complained to Samsung within 1 year of purchase and was told that the printer does not come with full cartridges. That was the excuse they gave me for the poor performance of the printer.

They told me to replace the cartridges and it would work fine.

However, that did not remove the problem either.

They kept fogging me off. When I insisted on them referring me to a repairer, they gave me a number which had an answering machine and no call back.

They did nothing to solve the problem.

I then took it to a Brother printer repairer, who said there is a problem in the imaging unit. That would cost $500 to fix. The cartridges are also very expensive. Throw the printer off. Buy a better one.

I went to the Consumer Trader and Tenancy tribunal today. They said that ACCC would be extremely interested to know that there is no mention on the box that the new printer comes with limited ink in the cartridges. Samsung is claiming that the following terms are on its manual. "Toner Cartridge Life Expectancy The life of a toner cartridge depends on the amount of toner that your print jobs require. When printing text at 5% coverage, the toner cartridges last an average of 2,000 pages for black and white printing and 1,000 pages for each color printing. However, the toner cartridge that is shipped with the printer prints 1,500 pages for black and white, 700 pages for colors."

There is no manual in the box that customers can relate to. Its on a software disk.

We printed less than the 500 pages that come in a Reflex paper packet. And the problem was seen as soon as we started printing.

We would not have bought the printer if low filled printer cartridges was clearly written on the box.

Samsung refuses to give me a new printer in exchange for this dud.

They said today at the Tribunal that they would get it repaired and would give 3 months warranty. Thats unacceptable. It surely will not work after 3 months anyway. I want a full replacement with a new printer.

Calcutta1960
5
Rating
 

Calcutta1960 posted a review   

I have no problems with paper less than 90 g/ms but try to use 160g/m2 then it's hard work. Vitually have to force feed it.
There must be some way out of this problem.
Calcutta1960

Gary
4
Rating
 

Gary posted a review   

The Good:Price

The Bad:Paper jam!!

This seems to be the most common problem. I have only had this 16 months and already am thinking of another brand. Was told cheaper to buy another one than have it repaired. Really disappointed as it is a good printer for the price. Don't buy, not until Samsung iron out the issues.

Steve
1
Rating
 

Steve posted a review   

The Good:Lousy

The Bad:Never Ran

This is a piece of Junk. I bought in 2007 and have only gotten 300 sheets out of it. This piece of junk should have been recalled and everyone given a refund. I will never buy any Samsung product ever!!!!!

 

Sam Sung posted a comment   

This printer jams a lot, it has very bad quality when using colour pictures.
After 6 mnoths of usage, all cartriges went out.
I was surprised to know that cartridges replacement cost more than a new original printer.
So i decided to through it and choose another brand.

Keeeeeth
1
Rating
 

Keeeeeth posted a review   

The Good:Nothing

The Bad:Never works

This is the worst piece of crap I've ever had to deal with. It decides to give you a red error light for no reason. Toner is full, no paper jambs, all good ? --> wrong. It just decides not to work.

I hate this machine, the cost to replace toners = the cost of a new different brand machine with a better review result.

I'm going to throw this piece of crap out in the street as soon as I finish typing this.

yeti
1
Rating
 

yeti posted a review   

The colour print quality is not very good.
After owning only for a few months it wouldn't pick up paper. Don't buy.

 

Catherine posted a comment   

The Good:compact size

The Bad:Print quality is poor, especially colour.

Unfortunately, not much is good about it. This is, without a doubt, the worst printer I have ever owned! Don't buy it.


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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung CLP-300

  • rich_787

    rich_787

    "Great printer, was given to me from a friend around 1 yr ago and has been running without a problem, however trying to print business card labels from cardboard type paper was troublesome (i guess ..."

  • NadiaK

    NadiaK

    Rating8

    "Overall a great printer, however when it started squeaking while printing and increasing got louder I was glad the printer was in another room in the house. The squeaking starting about 12 months o..."

  • Ninas

    Ninas

    Rating1

    "We bought a Samsung CLP300 printer from BBC Technology in Sydney. It proved to be a dud. The printing quality is very poor, with a line going down the page where no printing takes place.

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