When you have big needs for a printer, a fax machine, a copier and a scanner, and all you have is a small space, thoughts usually turn to a multi-function device.
A new offering from Samsung — the SCX-4623F — is definitely worthy of consideration.
With a footprint of 16 inches x 16 inches, and a mere 12.5 inches tall, it doesn’t consume a lot of desk space, but it packs a ton of functionality into its sleek black form.
It is, of course, a printer – a 23-page-per-minute monochrome laser printer. It’s a 1200 x 1200 dpi colour flatbed scanner. Combine those two functions and you get a handy copier (mono only).
And add a modem (33.6 Kbps), some memory and a phone line, and the final functionality, fax, joins the mix.
A 40-sheet automatic document feeder supplements the flatbed scanner for multi-page copies and faxes.
The input tray holds a respectable 250 sheets, but the output is a trifle odd. It’s in a slot below the scanner, and is rated to hold 80 sheets. It keeps the device’s silhouette slim (no jutting paper trays), but a large print job would jam up fiercely.
The manual also points out that narrow items, such as envelopes, may have to be manually fished out. It’s easy enough to do – just lift the scanner bed a bit – but it’s a nuisance.
Print quality is very good, even when copying a colour page. Grey scale images are smooth, not splotchy, and quite readable, and text is crisp.
First page out hits the rated time of about 9 seconds.
The control panel is nicely set up for all functions. On the far right, you’ll find Start and Stop/Clear buttons that manage all local operations.
Then there are the fax controls: a numeric keypad for dialing, a button giving access to the 200 number fax address book, redial and on-hook dial buttons.
Move left, and you see the Blue Compass navigation button used to select items from the menus on the LCD screen, and three mode selection buttons for copying, faxing or scanning.
Finally, at the far left, are two single-function buttons – Print Screen (you can choose the entire screen or the active window), and ID Copy. ID Copy is rather interesting.
It allows you to copy both sides of a small item such as an ID card or business card onto a single sheet of paper. I like the function, but I’m not sure why there’s a dedicated button for it; it doesn’t seem to be a function that’s required frequently enough.
Samsung supplies drivers not just for Windows systems, but MacOS and Linux devices as well. The Windows software installed cleanly, and included TWAIN scanning software, a fax driver and a device monitor as well as the expected print driver.
Faxes may be received on the unit, or sent directly to the PC.
The unit has a few other tricks up its sleeve.
It can clone multiple copies of an image onto a single sheet, or create a poster by splitting an image into nine pieces and printing each on a separate sheet. The driver offers such niceties as watermarks, overlays, manual duplexing, image scaling and booklet layout.
Included SmartThru software lets you scan a document in colour, at the resolution of your choice, to an application, a file, e-mail, OCR or Web.
It checks your computer for software and automatically offers the appropriate programs for the scanned document (you can, however, add to its list if you like). SmartThru also manages images and offers quick print.
Our review unit connected to the computer via USB 2.0, but a networked version (SCX-4623FN) is also available.
As with most small lasers, its toner cartridge and drum are integrated, and simple to install. The starter cartridge that arrives with the device will print about 1000 pages. Monthly duty cycle is a generous 12000 pages.
Overall, the SCX-4623F performed very well.
It’s quiet, quick, and doesn’t take up a lot of space – just the sort of unit a small office needs. If all you require is monochrome output, it’s an excellent choice.
The Canadian street price for SCX-4623F is $249.99. Warranty is one year, parts and labour, depot service (not, alas, onsite).
Standard toner cartridges rated at 1500 pages list for $80, an extended life toner rated at 2,500 pages lists for $97.