Samsung CLX-2160 AIO

Samsung's cute little colour MFP wins points with us for its compact style, although otherwise it's a deeply average printer.


6.8
CNET Rating
6.5
User Rating

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Design
Samsung touts the CLX-2160 (and its network capable sibling, the CLX-2160n, RRP AU$849) as the world's smallest colour laser multifunction printer. They're undoubtedly correct (for now), although being a laser printer still means you're talking about a unit of some size; those who need a truly compact multifunction device will still need to look at the inkjet world for now. The CLX-2160 measures in at 41.3cm by 35.3cm by 33.3cm and weighs a chunky 16.5 kilograms; it's one of those IT devices that looks lighter than it in fact is.

Installation of the CLX-2160 is relatively painless, especially for a colour laser. It wouldn't be a home printer without the need to remove lots of bits of seemingly superfluous sticky tape, but once you're past that easily penetrable barrier, it's just a matter of installing the toner cartridges, which come in quite cute colour-coded cylinders. They all load simply from the front of the unit in a very similar style to many inkjet multifunction devices. All the cartridges are physically keyed, so it's not possible to insert them the incorrect way.

Samsung do perpetrate one our key irritants when it comes to consumer printers -- the CLX-2160 ships without a USB cable. C'mon guys -- you've already got AU$799 of our hard-earned cash -- would a AU$5 cable break the bank? Drivers and simple print utilities are supplied for Windows and Mac OS X.

Features
Samsung rates the CLX-2160's page performance at up to 16ppm for mono prints, and up to 4ppm for colour prints, with a claimed first page out speeds of 18 and 26 seconds respectively. It connects solely via USB -- those with a hankering for networked colour lasers will either have to set up printer sharing or splurge an extra AU$50 for the CLX-2160n. The scanning bed is an 1200x600 dpi model.

Samsung hasn't missed another little printer manufacturer's trick with the CLX-2160, namely the use of "starter" toner cartridges. The boxed cartridges that come with the CLX-2160 are good for an estimated 1500 black and 700 colour pages -- that'll obviously vary depending on your exact usage -- compared to 2,000 and 1,000 pages for the full coverage replacement cartridges you'll eventually buy. Certainly, it's a trick that every printer manufacturer uses, so Samsung's only as guilty as the rest of the pack, but we still don't have to like it.

Performance
We tested the CLX-2160 printing and scanning a variety of documents, then assessing it against Samsung's claims for the printer, as we'd do for any other model. We were somewhat annoyed by the paper loading mechanism; like the Lexmark X9350 it uses a partially exposed A4 tray for automatic sheet feeding, and it's a fiddly little beast.

In checking the CLX-2160's specifications we weren't expecting much given the stated speeds; we've seen plenty of inkjet printers with claimed -- and sometimes even achieved -- printing speeds that would leave the CLX-2160 gasping for breath if its stated figures were true. Unfortunately for the CLX-2160, they're not only true, but arguably a bit optimistic, at least for monochrome prints. While your exact printing circumstances will determine your own real world speeds, at one point we were averaging 3 pages per minute printing a black and white children's drawing - hardly awe-inspiring.

The CLX-2160 did redeem itself in the colour stakes, however, with a very solid 2.5ppm for some heavy colour pages. That's still short of the claimed 4ppm, but it's at least within striking distance. In operation the CLX-2160 is suitably quiet for the most part, which is impressive for a printer of this size.

The CLX-2160 manages to be small enough to be striking, and arguably that's its best feature; if you're after a colour laser but only have limited space to accommodate a printer -- and can meet the not exactly budget asking price -- then it's a decent option. While we were unable to test the networked CLX-2160n, the additional AU$50 premium it affords would seem like a sensible choice for any small office.

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steve in sydney posted a comment   

The Good:great colour

The Bad:no manuals, no easy to find functions

great colours great unit,,
a bit slow but if you life is too fast for waiting a little,,look at your life not this printer,,

i cant find functions easy,,open up opperator window and where is everything ,,its terrible,,

 

Big Tim posted a comment   

The Good:prints standard 8-1/2x11 and legal size 20 pound paper well

The Bad:Won't print envelopes, card stock or anything else other then standard thickness paper

For home use I would stick with an inkjet printer. All this printer does is standard 20 pound 8-1/2 x 11 or legal size paper. I'm puzzled as to why it has a manual feed that allows for envelopes yet it can't print them. To confuse matters the universal software included has options for other types of paper and envelopes, but I was told by a support engineer that they are decorative. Samsung is fairly new to the printer market and I wonder about some of these things. If you want colour flyers it can print a lot fast. The cost is comparable to an ink jet as the toners have only a 1000 page yield. The one bennefit is that you have to change the toner a lot less in comparison to an ink jet printer. This is a big bennefit to me as my sister loves printing yet can't change an ink cartridge (She was so frustrated last time the ink ran out she thought eating a cartridge would help). The colour is mediocre. Just printed off a map and the colours aren't even and their is strips across it. The map is mostly gray so I'm confused as to why the poor print quality. So far I would say I've regretted my decision as I love printing on card stock (something this won't do). It's a shame the other computer users can't figure out how to change an ink cartridge otherwise I would have stuck with an ink cartridge. Replacement cartridges cost $180 Canadian for 1000 sheets. That's about 18 cents a sheet. My old Kodak ink jet did about 13 cents a sheet.

 

Big Tim posted a comment   

The Good:prints standard 8-1/2x11 and legal size 20 pound paper well

The Bad:Won't print envelopes, card stock or anything else other then standard thickness paper

For home use I would stick with an inkjet printer. All this printer does is standard 20 pound 8-1/2 x 11 or legal size paper. I'm puzzled as to why it has a manual feed that allows for envelopes yet it can't print them. To confuse matters the universal software included has options for other types of paper and envelopes, but I was told by a support engineer that they are decorative. Samsung is fairly new to the printer market and I wonder about some of these things. If you want colour flyers it can print a lot fast. The cost is comparable to an ink jet as the toners have only a 1000 page yield. The one bennefit is that you have to change the toner a lot less in comparison to an ink jet printer. This is a big bennefit to me as my sister loves printing yet can't change an ink cartridge (She was so frustrated last time the ink ran out she thought eating a cartridge would help). The colour is mediocre. Just printed off a map and the colours aren't even and their is strips across it. The map is mostly gray so I'm confused as to why the poor print quality. So far I would say I've regretted my decision as I love printing on card stock (something this won't do). It's a shame the other computer users can't figure out how to change an ink cartridge otherwise I would have stuck with an ink cartridge. Replacement cartridges cost $180 Canadian for 1000 sheets. That's about 18 cents a sheet. My old Kodak ink jet did about 13 cents a sheet.

Jesssy
5
Rating
 

Jesssy posted a review   

The Good:Its Fit :P

The Bad:Wont Hook Up to Print

Hmmm Colour on it is great ! But It Doesn't hook up to my computer to print .. ! Help Anyone ?

Catherine
5
Rating
 

Catherine posted a review   

The Good:Small, the direct USB works well instead of trying to work out how to scan directly to my PC (which I still haven't worked out).

The Bad:Poor print quality which seems to be getting worse as time goes by.

I've been using a CLX-2160 for about seven months and have found the print quality deriorating inexplicably over time.

warwick
1
Rating
 

warwick posted a review   

The Good:Small size

The Bad:Unpacking and physical Installation instructions are woeful.

on The Mac, 10.5 this machine is almost impossible to scan, or to put into powersave. I think I'll be taking it back to the shop and telling my friends.

john
10
Rating
 

john posted a review   

The Good:its so cute

The Bad:colours are bland

Its totally awesome

suc0825
9
Rating
 

suc0825 posted a review   

I'm in Viet Nam. I am having a Samsung printer which model is CLX-2161K, but no driver. Could you help me get the driver?Please help me! Thank you so much!

Hyunseok
9
Rating
 

Hyunseok posted a review   

The Good:(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oilgaCyvsrU) Here is a movie clip address at the Youtube that I recorded to prove the performance and how no-noise works. Oh the no noise is an awesome technology that reduces the noise of the laser printer’. I think the no noise is works fine actually.

The Direct function is so cool. It gives you a lot of chances to save your precious time. You don’t need to turn on the computer that wired with a printer when you need to do scan or print documents because of this function. It works so simple so that every body doesn’t need to read a manual to use this function.

The Bad:The manager software to use the printer and functions of the printer is not good enough, but still the printer is good and you can use it without the manager software to manage the printer.

I not am using exactly the ‘CLX-2161N’, I am using the ‘CLX-2161K’. The difference between those models is whether the ‘NIC’ (Network interface card) is embedded on the printer or not. So I think I can leave some comments for the people who looking for a good multifunction color laser printer.




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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung CLX-2160 AIO

  • steve in sydney

    steve in sydney

    "great colours great unit,,
    a bit slow but if you life is too fast for waiting a little,,look at your life not this printer,,

    i cant find functions easy,,open up opperator wind..."

  • Big Tim

    Big Tim

    "For home use I would stick with an inkjet printer. All this printer does is standard 20 pound 8-1/2 x 11 or legal size paper. I'm puzzled as to why it has a manual feed that allows for envelopes ..."

  • Big Tim

    Big Tim

    "For home use I would stick with an inkjet printer. All this printer does is standard 20 pound 8-1/2 x 11 or legal size paper. I'm puzzled as to why it has a manual feed that allows for envelopes ..."

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