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View Full Version : Samsung's CLX-3175 Colour Laser Multi-Function Printer: Not a Good Choice

Jason Dunn
07-23-2009, 03:00 PM
<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1248294219.usr1.jpg" style="border: 0; float: left; margin: 5px;" />Late last year, I did a bit of office re-configuration, and retired my old Canon MP780 inkjet all-in-one in favour of something that would get the old "dried out ink cartridge" problem, and something that had a lower cost per-page. That something was a colour laser multi-function printer.</p><p>I had a specific space for the printer, and since most of them are quite large, I was seeking something as small as possible. The <a href="http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/detail/detail.do?group=printermultifunction&amp;type=printermultifunction&amp;subtype=colourmultifunction&amp;model_cd=CLX-3175/XAA" target="_blank">Samsung CLX-3175</a> fit the bill: it printed, scanned, faxed, and was much smaller than any competing product. It fit exactly where I needed it to fit, so I thought I was all set. It didn't turn out that well in the end.</p><p>The first problem when I set it up and did a test print was the horrible stench - I'm used to laser printers being a little oderous, but this was extreme. Thankfully, after a few days it lessened to the point where it was tolerable. What wasn't tolerable, however, was the print quality of the CLX-3175. The first sample print I did looked awful - the colours were horribly washed out. I thought perhaps I had it set on some sort of draft mode, but after triple-checking every driver checkbox and drop-down menu there was, I couldn't see any way to improve the quality. <MORE /></p><p>Here's what an image looked like printed out from the Samsung&nbsp;CLX-3175 at maximum quality:</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1248295556.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>Pretty bad right? Now best consumer-grade laser printer isn't going to match the photo printing quality of even a $99 inkjet, but that's far below where it should be. I printed out the same image on my still-connected HP 2600n and here's how it turned out:</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1248295913.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>It looks like the&nbsp;CLX-3175 is defective, right? Well, it might have been, but Samsung tech support was of no help when I phoned them about another issue, so I didn't pursue getting the printer repaired/replaced for fear that the replacement printer would be just as bad. Next I tried printing out my invoice template, thinking that perhaps the&nbsp;CLX-3175 was more heavily geared toward text and graphics printing. Here's what my logo looked like:</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1248296838.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>The same logo printed out on my HP 2600n looked dramatically better:</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1248296885.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>The issue I phoned Samsung tech support about? The&nbsp;CLX-3175, despite being programmed to pick up upon detecting a distinctive ring, simply would not recieve a fax. It would happily recieve a fax if I set it to pick up on my main phone line, but that's not what I needed it to do. I phoned tech support and they walked me through various settings, and they couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. They escalated the issue to second level tech support, but they never phoned me back. Not very impressive.</p><p>The&nbsp;CLX-3175 has a bunch of neat features - one of my favourite was that you could configure it to recieve an incoming fax, convert it to a PDF, and email it to you - all without wasting a single sheet of paper. Slick! Unfortunately, because of its inability to recieve faxes, this feature was of no benefit to me. Equally cool was the&nbsp;ability scan over the network, but it was limited to 300dpi - and considering that I was hoping to not need a stand-alone scanner, that wasn't enough scanning quality for me. The driver install was also a bit of a train-wreck; it took me several tries to get it all installed on one of my computers.</p><p>In the end I returned it to Staples, the office supply store I bought it from, and purchased an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/product_detail.do?storeName=storefronts&amp;landing=printer&amp;category=LaserJet&amp;orderflow=1&amp;a1=Type&amp;v1=all-in-one&amp;product_code=CC431A#ABA&amp;catLevel=2" target="_blank">HP Color LaserJet CM1312nfi MFP</a>&nbsp;instead. Despite the awful product name, it's a very impressive printer. <a href="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1248297012.usr1.jpg" target="_blank">My first test print looked great</a>, and over the past few months I've had zero complaints. Well, OK, I have one: it does a calibration process every so often, and while you can adjust the time between calibrations, you can't adjust the time of day it happens at. I'd prefer to see the have the calibration happen at midnight, when I'm not in my office, rather than during the middle of my work day. And, as always, HP charges a ridiculous amount of money for their toner cartridges - though thankfully because I don't print heavily I'm still on the original set that came with my printer. If you're looking for a multi-function colour laser printer, the&nbsp;CM1312nfi MFP is a good choice. The Samsung&nbsp;CLX-3175 is not.</p><p><em>Jason Dunn owns and operates&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Inc.</a>, a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys&nbsp;<a href="http://photos.jasondunn.com/" target="_blank">photography</a>, mobile devices,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jasondunn.com/" target="_blank">blogging</a>, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. Why is printer ink and toner so expensive exactly?</em></p><p><em></em><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p><p><strong>Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Review Team</a>! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Then click here for more information.</a></strong></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p>

Janak Parekh
07-23-2009, 04:47 PM
I have the CM1312nfi MFP as well, and I've been very happy with it. In addition to what you said, the device's styling is a little clumsy, but it works very well. The Mac drivers are also solid, if unspectacular; the HP Scan app is rather barebones, but it does the job. The print quality is excellent; I've given people framed photos printed with it on HP Glossy Paper as presents. Not bad for an all-in-one color laser printer. :)


Jason Dunn
07-23-2009, 06:39 PM
I have the CM1312nfi MFP as well, and I've been very happy with it. In addition to what you said, the device's styling is a little clumsy

That's an understatement - the CM1312nfi MFP is about as pretty as its name. It looks like something that fell off the Millennium Falcon. :D

Janak Parekh
07-23-2009, 07:28 PM
That's an understatement - the CM1312nfi MFP is about as pretty as its name. It looks like something that fell off the Millennium Falcon. :D Ha! Most of HP's MFP units have had this ugly, horrible shape for the last few years. I'm not sure why. That, and the product name... <sigh>


07-23-2009, 09:19 PM
Ha! Most of HP's MFP units have had this ugly, horrible shape for the last few years. I'm not sure why. That, and the product name... <sigh>

Not sure about the product name, but the shape is pretty easy--cost savings. The bottom is identical to a shipping laser printer, so same design/engineering and manufacturing setup. I'm sure they design them up front to serve both purposes, differing only in whether or not they wear a "hat." Agreed, though, they are all fugly (though I love my 3 year-old HP monochrome MFP which is equally fugly).

Janak Parekh
07-23-2009, 09:39 PM
Makes sense, but it doesn't cost that much to alter the plastic shell while keeping the same enging. I think it's both cost minimization and design laziness. ;)


07-24-2009, 02:14 PM
I actually have one of these Samsung laser printers and it works perfectly fine. Photo quality is excellent. The fax works for me - although I don't use a distinctive ring. I've never had a problem with odor whether new or otherwise and I've had it since it came out. I've run it off USB and later networked it off my router with no problems. It sounds to me like you received a defective unit.

Jason Dunn
07-24-2009, 05:26 PM
I actually have one of these Samsung laser printers and it works perfectly fine. Photo quality is excellent.

Good to hear that the print quality I was seeing wasn't normal - though I still can't figure out why tech support couldn't get the distinctive ring to work. :confused:

08-19-2009, 03:33 PM
I have been looking to replace an HP laserjet 3330 mfp. It works fine after years, but i had to rebuild my primary desktop due to MB failure and now cannot find the OEM disks. HP does not have the scanner drivers online. (planned obsolescence?) Thus no scanning. I dont really need a high end laser printer as i have a Ricoh Aficio SP C811dn, but thought i might as well get color to replace the HP mfp. I do own a lot or samsung items and have been pretty satisified, but I have not seen a good review of the subject printer. Outside of the hp mfp you mentioned, any other recommends in the under $400 mpf range, or how can i get the OEM disks for my 3330? ( I am just enought pissed off at HP for not providing the scanning drivers online, that i am happy to look at other products) thanks David