Samsung – CLP-315 review

small, inexpensive colour laser printer
Photo of Samsung – CLP-315

Colour laser printers have been getting smaller and cheaper for a while, but Samsung’s CLP-315 breaks both records, with The Smallest Laser Printer In The World costing just £125 at Internet prices. This matte and gloss black box really isn’t much bigger than a typical desktop mono laser, though its 150-sheet paper tray sticks out a bit at the front.

The printer has a strange, high-gloss, rectangular plastic ‘plate’ apparently floating over the top, though this helps guide pages onto the top of the printer and isn’t just cosmetic. The simple control panel has LEDs for low toner in each of the colour cartridges, plus indicators for error conditions.

At the back is a single USB socket, the only connection on this printer, though if you need Ethernet or WiFi links both are available in the CLP-315W, which costs around £200. The only other option is an extra 150-sheet paper tray.

Fold down the front cover and you have four, neat, colour toner cartridges, which slide easily in and out when you need to maintain the printer. The separate drum unit, which has a service life of 24,000 pages, may well be a lifetime component if the printer is lightly used in a home environment.

There not much software other than the printer driver, though an online diagnostic called Dr Printer can be helpful with setup problems. The driver includes support for watermarks, page imposition and manual duplexing. There’s no automatic duplexing option on this printer.

Print speeds are modest, with 17ppm for mono and 4ppm for colour quoted by Samsung, and our tests producing around 10ppm and 3.5ppm respectively. There’s a 20-second warm-up to add to that, though, if the printer has to wake from sleep mode. In intermittent use, that’s most of the time.

Print quality is fine for black text, bright for colour graphics and a bit gaudy for colour photos. Registration of black text over colour isn’t wonderful and there’s some banding in large areas of colour fill. The printer is quiet when printing, though Samsung’s ‘No Nois’ moniker is a bit of a misnomer.

Toner cartridges, which hold 1,000 pages-worth of colour and 1,500 pages-worth of black, will need changing quite regularly and the prices we found for them give page costs of 3.3p and 11.8p for black and colour print respectively. These are both on the high side and partly counteract the low purchase price of the printer.

Company: Samsung

Contact: 0870 242 0303

Aimed at the SOHO market, or possibly at a manager's desk, this is truly a small colour laser printer. It's also inexpensive to buy and quiet when printing. Against this, it's comparatively expensive to run and the print quality is variable. If money's tight, it's a worthwhile way into colour laser printing.