Samsung CLX-2160NJul 21st, 2007 | By Archive
: 07/21/07 – 06:18:33 PM
Page 1 : Introduction
: $456 @ CompSource
It is quite common for the modern home and office to be filled with technological computing gadgets and peripherals, which in turn translates into clutter, and untameable masses of wires. Today we will be looking at Samsung's CLX-2160N, hailed as the world's smallest laser multifunction printer (MFP) with network capabilities as indicated by the 'N' suffix. This is however, not just any typical multifunction printer, Samsung is after all a leader in the field of consumer electronics. The CLX-2160N is designed for the home and office and thus is oriented towards usability.
With its small size and office printer styling, Samsung has incorporated features such as an integrated USB port, LCD display, an intuitive easy-to-use control panel and network capabilities that make it more than just any ordinary multifunction printer.
Page 2 : Package and Contents
Of course, with a product as large as this, an enormous box is necessary to not only protect the contents, but advertise selling points.
The bulk of the specifications and features are located at the top of the box such as system requirements, contents, specifications for printing, copying, scanning and so on.
The sides of the box reiterate main features. Samsung really trumpets the CLX-2160N's networking capabilities, so this will of course be one of the things we will be testing later on in the review.
Opening the box, Samsung has included the usual slew of documentation, software and cables along consumables and the printer itself.
The control panel located to the front of the printer allows is a great addition and provides access to the network, removable media, and the printer.
The three large buttons to the right of the panel allow for one- touch photo copying in both color and black and white.
Like all multifunction printers, the scanner is located to the top of the unit.
Moving to the rear of the unit, the AC power, USB and network cables all connect neatly to the left of the unit. The addition of the RJ-45 network port is what allows this printer to be connected directly to a network.
Next, lets first take a look at features and specifications.
Page 3 : Features and Specifications
Here is what Samsung has to say about the CLX-2160N:
A color laser MFP with easy to use USB alternatives
Imagine a simple and fast way to connect your camera or phone directly to the printer. Samsung's CLX-2160N provides USB ports for you to instantly print various image files. The CLX-2160N also features a USB Direct Scan feature and NO-NOIS technology.
On paper, or a screen I should say, these specifications are fairly respectable, even more so considering the relatively low price of the unit, but then again, specifications are only mear claims until they have been put through applicable testing.
Page 4 : Installation
Often with Samsung products, any competent person familiar with the basic ins and out of computer peripherals can quite easily manage without a manual, but for the sake of this review, and complex nature of such all-in-one devices, we will cover the installation procedure as per outlined in the manual.
To first install the toner cartridges, open the front door to access the imaging unit.
Then install the toner cartridges accordingly- cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
The imaging unit does not need to be removed for this process, but to depict the process!
Loading the paper is similar to loading any tray fed printer, simply remove the tray, insert the paper and reinstall into the printer. The tray can hold a maximum of 150 sheets of 20 lb paper.
Now the printer is ready to be connected either locally to a computer system, or through a network.
Setting up the printer via network takes a bit more work than installing a local printer then sharing it. For me, this process was especially difficult as I absolutely loathe networks, but let me point out, when it comes to networks, anything short of novice does not do my knowledge and know- how justice. Needless to say, I eventually did get the printer to work over the network, after of course, hours upon hours of fiddling with settings, hair pulling and ignorantly suppressing the inner voice of reason suggesting that asking for help would probably solve the problem much faster than any amount of brute force. All it took was the right settings, and maybe actually opening the manual and reading it!
After the printer has been setup, adding the printer to a computer is incredibly easy through Samsung's included software. Here I will setup the printer on a laptop.
Again, Samsung's CLX-2160N can be used as either a local or network printer, but in this case we will be using it at as a network printer.
The software will then automatically browse for the printer.
Lastly, the software will install the necessary drivers.
Now, head on over to the next page for testing!
Page 5 : Testing
Earlier when we took a look at specifications, Samsung claimed that the CLX-2160N could print at 16 ppm in black and white, and 4 ppm in color. While here at Overclockers Online, we are about speed, there will be no overclocking of the printer, but we will put these claims to the test! Our test document consisted of the alphabet sprawled down the page, and for the color tests, the alphabet in rainbow colors.
The timer begins as soon as the printer receives the print job and ends as the last sheet exits the printer.
For both tests, we printed sheets in order to give an estimate of the printer's page per minute capabilities.
While 12 ppm isn't quite 16 ppm nor is 3.57 ppm quite 4 ppm, our document consisted of entirly text without any spaces or indentations.
Next we will test the CLX-2160N's ability to print, and copy photos. The origonal photo can be found here link
Printing directly from a digital copy, the color reproduction isn't bad for an all-in-one printer, but far from photo printer quality. There is a considerable loss in quality and color detail. However, when photo copying the original, the image quality and color is further reduced along with the shadows which appear as red blotches.
Its reproduction of text however is slightly darker and appears to increase the contrast from the original.
But, when it comes to charts and simple graphics, this is where the CLX-2160N really shines.
The last feature we will be playing with today is the direct USB connection. This comes in handy for on the go printing and does not require a computer. With the USB device attached to the printer, the control panel allows easy navigation of the storage media. The direct USB connection also permits users to scan directly to the USB drive.
Page 6 : Conclusion
Samsung's CLX-2160N is truly a mixed bag, while it is competitively priced, serves many functions, network ready, and is easy to use; it falls short when it comes to printing pictures, and especially reproduction of color, which is unfortunately one of the CLX-2160N's main selling points. But while the CLX-2160N is far from a photo printer, its network capabilities, direct USB connection, and multifunction panel make it an excellent home and office printer for documents.
The ability to directly access USB drives and networks makes the CLX-2160N an excellent centralized printer, photo copier, and scanner for those on a budget. Along with the CLX-2160N's small size, this multifunction unit replaces the need to have multiple individual units to perform the same functions. For the typical office environment, whether in a home or a work place, usability is of greater significance than color reproduction or photo printing qualities which is exactly where the CLX-2160N excels.
- Affordable pricing
- Small footprint
- Network ready
- Easy to use control panel
- Poor photo printing quality
- Inaccurate reproduction of color
Overclockers Online would like to thank Lite-On for making this review possible.