One of things that has been holding me back from investing in a multifunction laser printer is the fact that these things are typically pretty gargantuan, especially if you want a laser printer with color. These machines are even bigger if you must have a flatbed scanner rather than the paper shredder-style ones that try to keep the girth down to a minimum. The Samsung CLX-2160N multifunction laser printer may be marketed as the world's smallest color laser MFP, but don't let that fool you. It's a heck of a lot bigger than most desktop printers. At the same time, it's a heck of a lot more powerful too.
What Functions Make it a Multifunction
For me, I just need a printer to print. I want it to print quickly, clearly, and filled with vibrant colors. For other people, particularly those who run home offices in the smallest of spaces, multifunctions are obviously the way to go, because you just don't have room to stash several different devices in such a small room.
The Samsung CLX-2160N has three core functionalities:
- Print: The spec sheet claims that this thing will print up to 17ppm in black (letter) and 3ppm in color with a maximum effective resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi. It's also notable that you can connect this printer either through a conventional USB cable or through a network via Ethernet.
- Copy: Compared to industrial-sized copy machines, the CLX-2160N is clearly much more compact, but it's also a heck of a lot slower. This is due partly because it can do color as well. They say that the first black-and-white copy is produced in 18 seconds, whereas the first color copy takes 45 seconds. The ID function, which prints both sides of an ID card on a single piece of paper without re-feeding, is quite handy.
- Scan: Don't expect to scan items that are much larger than a standard letter-sized piece of paper. It'll do 1200 x 600 dpi, but this can be "enhanced" up to 4800 x 4800 dpi. I like how the scanned image can be saved onto a USB memory device directly instead of having to go through a computer (which it can also do).
I do find it interesting that Samsung didn't include some sort of fax functionality in this machine, but I guess in the day and age where everybody relies on email, faxing has become less of a priority. Even so, it's something that I would have liked to see in a multifunction printer clearly designed for use in small offices.
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