Review: Samsung CLP-510 Color Laser Printer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by IJ Reilly, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #1
    A few weeks ago I posted some questions about the Samsung CLP-510 color laser. Turned out nobody had bought one yet. So I decided to be the first to take the plunge. As promised, here's a brief review of this product.

    The Good

    This printer is cheap. Very cheap. I paid $403.00, no tax, free shipping for the "n" model with a network card. I've seen the USB version sold for as little as $299.00. I still can't believe I paid only 400 bucks for a color laser printer.

    It's got a built-in duplexer, a several hundred dollar option on all of the other printers in its class.

    This printer is relatively quiet for a color laser. With an emphasis on "relatively." Even when it's not printing, it hums audibly, which is a big environmental change for my otherwise virtually silent home-office. It does go into a completely silent sleep state after a few minutes of non-use, but it still draws about 30 watts in this state, according to the specifications, so I think I'll be powering to down whenever it's not in use.

    The print quality looks good, though I've got little basis for comparison.

    The Bad

    The software drivers for the Mac are minimal, providing only limited access to the printer's settings (not sure if the Windows drivers are much better -- will test this later). So you end up poking around on the poorly-designed LCD display on the printer more than seems necessary (see "The Ugly," below).

    This printer is heavy -- around 70 pounds, and large. But that's typical for a printer in this class.

    The printer ships with "starter" toner cartridges -- an annoyance, but typical for color lasers (what do you expect for $400.00?). They are not shipped installed, either, which is no big thing, but it did lead me to discover that the cartridge installation procedure isn't fully explained in the quick-start guide (and no other printed guide is provided). In short, if the top lid of the printer isn't latched completely shut (which is easy to miss), the top two toner cartridges won't seat fully. This was a head-scratcher until I figured it out. Fortunately, I wasn't tempted to shove the cartridges to make them fit.

    The printer ships with only 64mb of RAM, which is only adequate for a color laser. It's expandable to 192mb, but Samsung doesn't reveal the RAM specification, so presumably you have to buy the RAM from them at an inflated price.

    The Ugly

    The design of the printer's two-line menu display is terrible. It's essentially impenetrable. I have yet to figure out how it works.

    The network setup procedure was simply not explained, not in the printed quick-start guide or the user's guide provided on CD. This was, by far, the worst part of my experience setting up the printer -- infuriating, if fact, if only because of the inexplicable omission of this essential step. To make matters even worse, the network management software CD provided with the printer came with no Mac compatible software, even though the printed documentation said it did. This left me with no apparent way to assign an IP address to the printer. Fortunately, my router had assigned an IP address to the printer, and I figured out how to print out a network configuration page which revealed the number, otherwise I'd have been unable to use the printer at all. How could Samsung miss this, and how would somebody less network savvy even know where to start?

    Overall

    Once the printer was up and running, it seems to work fine. Setup problems aside, time will tell whether I got more than I paid for.
     
  2. kant macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #2
    I'm surprised by this. One of the things that I like about samsung products is that I've always found their documentation to be complete.

    One question: what does the output look like?
     
  3. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    I also looked online for the software. Nothing there, either. I sent them a rather cranky e-mail about this, so we'll see.

    As for the output, I haven't done a lot of printing with the thing yet so I'm reserving judgment. My first impression is the color is a bit dark, but overall pretty accurate. Another minus is that color management software is Windows-only. That may not matter if I can set up a colorsync profile for the printer, but that's entirely new territory for me, and I don't honestly know where to start.
     
  4. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    Update:

    After two e-mails to Samsung technical support, they finally admitted that they don't explain in the documentation how to set up the printer on a network on the Mac, and provide no software for that purpose, despite the fact that their documentation says they do. They explained the work-around for determining the printer's IP address that I'd already discovered myself. They also provided a method for manually setting the printer's IP address using the front panel of the printer. No less than 14 steps!
     
  5. iEric macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #5
    Didn't you know? Samsung took all the Mac drivers off of their website..They claim that they cannot keep up the driver updates with the OS X updates; thus, they have to wait until Apple keeps a OS for longer than one year.
    Some say they don't like macs and want to keep the mac marketshare down. But that's only some people.

    I like to believe in both reasons.

    My laser printer (samsung, duh) is using this fake driver for OS 10.4
     
  6. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #6
    The Mac drivers are all there, right on the web site. They also came on a CD with the printer. The drivers work okay, at least in 10.3.9. I don't know where you heard this other thing.

    Their tech and Mac support still stink though.
     

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