Small enough to serve as a personal multifunction printer (MFP), but capable enough to fill the shared printer slot in most micro and small offices, the Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2875FW delivers everything most small offices need in a mono laser MFP. It’s not as fast as the Editors’ Choice Canon imageClass MF4880dw, but it offers better output quality plus some features the Canon printer lacks. This makes it a highly attractive MFP, and an Editors’ Choice as well.
Like the Canon MF4880dw, the M2875FW offers Ethernet and Wi-Fi as connection choices. However, the M2875FW also adds Wi-Fi Direct, which lets you use Wi-Fi to connect directly to the printer from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop that offers Wi-Fi. You don’t need an access point on your network, and you don’t even need to connect the printer to the network. This can be particularly useful if want to connect the M2875FW to your computer by USB cable as a personal printer, and still want to print to it from your mobile device.
In addition to letting you print from an iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone or tablet over Wi-Fi, the M2875FW will also let you scan to and fax from your mobile device. And if the printer’s connected to a network that’s connected to the Internet, you can also print through the cloud.
Not so incidentally, if you don’t need Wi-Fi, you can save a little money by getting the Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2875FD ($250 street). According to Samsung, it’s the identical printer, but without Wi-Fi. Samsung also says that if you connect it by Ethernet to a network that has a Wi-Fi access point, it will it support the same mobile print features. All the comments in this review about print quality, speed, and features should apply to it as well.
Basics and Setup
Basic MFP features in the M2875FW include the ability to print and fax from, as well as scan to, a PC, including over a network, and the ability to work as a standalone copier and fax machine. For scanning, the letter-size flatbed is supplemented by a 40-page automatic document feeder (ADF), which can scan up to legal-size pages. The ADF is limited to simplex (one-sided) scans, but menu options let you take advantage of the automatic print duplexer (for two-sided printing) to scan single-sided originals to two-sided copies.
Paper handling for printing is limited to a single 250-sheet tray plus a manual feed, which lets you print on different paper stock without having to swap out the paper in the tray. This should be enough for most micro- and small-office use, not to mention personal use, with the duplexer a particularly nice extra. If you need more input capacity, however, you’ll have to look elsewhere, since Samsung doesn’t offer any upgrade options.
Setup is standard. The M2875FW is a little large to share a desk with, at 14.4 by 15.8 by 14.3 inches (HWD), but it’s small enough so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding enough room for it. For my tests I connected it using its Ethernet port, and ran the tests from a system running Windows Vista.
Speed and Output Quality
Samsung rates the M2875FW at 29 pages per minute (ppm), which is the speed you should see when printing a simple text file with little to no formatting. I timed it on our business applications suite (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), at 10.0 ppm. That counts as reasonably fast, but not impressive for the price. The Canon imageClass MF4770n, for example, came in at 12.3 ppm. The MF4880dw’s official speed on our tests is only 9.6 ppm, but that’s in its default duplex mode. In simplex mode, it hit 12.5 ppm.
Output quality for the M2875FW is easily good enough for most business use, with text at the high end of the range that includes most mono laser MFPs, graphics dead on par, and photos at the low end of par.
For text, that translates to the printer being suitable for anything short of high-quality desktop publishing. For graphics the output is good enough for any internal business need. Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you may or may not consider it suitable for PowerPoint handouts and the like. Photos are good enough to print recognizable images from photos on Web pages, and potentially good enough for photos in newsletters and handouts, if you don’t mind roughly newspaper-level photo quality.
The Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2875FW does an unusually good job of offering lots of strong points and no real weaknesses. Its particular balance of speed, output quality, paper handing, MFP basics, and small conveniences—like Wi-Fi Direct and the ability to copy single-sided originals to double-sided copies—adds up to the proverbial more than the sum of its parts. That’s enough to make it an excellent fit for a micro or small office and also an Editors’ Choice.
|Standalone Copier and Fax||Copier, Fax|
|Direct Printing from Cameras||No|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size||Legal|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)||29 ppm|
|Color or Monochrome||Monochrome|
|Technology (for laser category only)||Laser|
|Connection Type||USB, Ethernet, Wireless|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc