Samsung Wireless CLP-315W Printer

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Product: Samsung CLP-315W Color Laser Network Printer
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price:


Introduction:

The Box It's been a long time since we've looked at a new printer here at BCCHardware - in fact the last printer we looked at was the CLP-300 printer from Samsung and today we've got a much more stylish follow-up; the CLP-315W.  The latest series of printers from Samsung focus on style as much as they do function and performance. While many consumers may feel that this is a waste of effort, the truth is these new products look good anywhere and is not the unsightly behemoths they used to be.  The CLP-315W promises decent print speeds, quiet operation, good looks and nice connectivity through USB2.0 as well as wired and wireless networks.  Keep on reading as we find out more about this slick little unit and if it fulfills its promises.

 

About Samsung Canada:

Established in 1987, Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. has been selling products especially selected for the needs of the Canadian consumer.

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. is divided into four divisions:

    * Consumer Electronics, which sells products ranging from High Definition Televisions to Camcorders and Digital Audio Products
    * Home Appliances our newest division selling stat-of-the-art kitchen and laundry appliances
    * Information Technology division, which specializes in computer peripherals such as monitors, laser printers and storage products and
    * Wireless Terminals, which researches, markets and develops wireless handsets and telecommunications devices throughout Canada.

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. is the Canadian-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. of Korea, a global leader in semiconductors, telecommunication, and digital convergence technology. Samsung Electronics employs approximately 75,000 people in 89 offices in 47 countries, with fully-integrated sales, service and marketing activities in 46 countries and R&D activities in 15 research centres around the world.

Samsung Electronics Canada has been a proud sponsor of the World Cyber Games, Samsung Nations' Cup Equestrian Series, Canadian National Hockey Teams and more recently the Olympics in Turino.

Founded in 1938 in Seoul, Korea, Samsung Electronics Ltd. is the world's largest producer of memory chips, TFT-LCDs, CDMA mobile phones, monitors and VCRs. Samsung Electronics consists of four main business units: Digital Media Network, Device Solution Network, Telecommunication Network and Digital Appliance Network Businesses. 

CLP-315W First Look:

Much like today's modern computers and TVs, Samsung has opted to go for a shiny black motif for its line of printers.  These look very stylish at first, but are prone to fingerprints, dust and scratches marring the surface in a normal working environment.

The Bundle
The Bundle

 

The bundle includes pretty much everything you need to get up and running on a network install.  Samsung has thrown in a standard power cable, CD, some light documentation and a network cable.  Even though the printer model number denotes wireless network capabilities (CLP-315"W"), the printer will also function on a wired network as well.  The wireless network connects at 802.11b/g which is faster than the printer can print at its 17ppm black and 4ppm color.  Combined with 32MB of RAM, this printer is speedy no matter how you connect to it.

 Front Profile
Front Profile
 Rear Profile
Rear Profile

 

The main printer design is nothing too impressive.  It has fairly uniform appearance and features a slide out paper tray at the front as well as a flip up discharge paper retainer at the top.  The back is very simple and has all of the connections grouped closely together.  You'll notice there is no external WiFi antenna and this is a nice treat as the antenna is kept inside.  While this may limit range to some extent, it works perfectly here anywhere inside the BCCHardware HQ.

 

Specs & Features:

All of the specs and features below are taken from Samsung's website and posted here for your convenience.

Small Specs

All the full specifications can be found over here.

 

mini personal color laser printer
Make the change from inkjet and bulky laser printer. Now you have the perfect reason to upgrade to the smallest color laser printer.

super small, super powerful
The CLP-315 is a space-saving, easily movable printer that weighs a mere 11 kg. It’s the smallest and lightest color laser printer in its class, which prints sharp 2400 x 600dpi black text as fast as 16 ppm and color at up to 4 ppm.

whisper-quiet operation
The NO-NOIS™ engine design means the toner is stored in a fixed cartridge mechanism, eliminating noise and vibration. It also simplifies toner changes - there are no heavy toners to change, just small, easy-to-access toner bottles.

large capacity
The CLP-315 works hard and long for you. It features a 150-sheet cassette tray, a 100-sheet output capacity and a 20,000 monthly duty cycle.

dazzling prints
Expect great-looking prints, whether in black or in color. The CLP-315 prints 2,400 x 600 dpi document as fast as 16 ppm and color at 4 ppm.

completely compatible
The CLP-315 is compatible with Windows® Vista, Mac® and Linux™ operating systems, for a completely seamless print experience.

simple, smart maintenance
Curious about the status of your print job? A smart panel program monitors and displays the printing status. You can even view solution animations if an error occurs.


Closer Look at the CLP-315W:

The top of the CLP-315W is pretty basic and includes a flip out paper guide to catch the paper as it comes out of the top of the unit.  The top also pivots back to reveal the delivery rollers.  This can be handy in case of a paper jam.  Throughout testing we had no jams, blockages or issues, but we've only been using it for a couple of weeks.  Also on the top of the printer is a single button that works as an "online" button.  If you press and hold this button, it will initiate the CLP-315W to print out a configuration and status page.  This is handy if you are trying to do a pure network install and don't know what IP address this printer is using.  Next to the button are four indicator lights that will light up as toner runs low on each color.

 Top Open
Top Open
 Buttons & Stuff
Buttons & Stuff

 

The CLP-315W has all of its connections closely grouped together at the back.  There is also a power switch if needed.  I rarely use a power switch, but if you're going to be away for an extended period, it is a good idea to switch off your electronics.  The paper tray for the CLP-315W holds 150 pages of letter, legal or A4 paper and it seems a bit small for a printer of this size.  That being said, it works well and is easy to reload in the event that you have to fill it several times a week.

 Power & Ports
Power & Ports
 Paper Tray
Paper Tray

 

The toner cartridges are located at the front of the machine and this makes replacing them easy.  If you've stuffed the printer in a corner, you still will likely have access to the front, and this is a great place to put the toner.  Unlike other entry-level printers, the CLP-315W has a waster toner bin as well that helps prolong the life of your printer and the environment.  I was impressed at the size of the imaging unit on this printer and once everything has been removed (toner cartridges, waste toner bin, imaging unit) there really isn't much left to the inside of this printer.

 Toner Storage Open
Toner Storage Open 

 Waste Toner Bin
Waste Toner Bin
   
 Imaging Drum
Imaging Drum

 Cavern For Stuff
Cavern For Stuff

 

On the next page we'll setup and install this printer under both Windows and Linux environments and see how it works.


Installation:

Samsung claims that this printer works under Windows 2000 and higher as well as Mac OSX 10.3-10.5 and "Various Linux OS".  For starters we plugged this printer into our network, and then fired up an Acer Aspire One running Ubuntu 8.10 and went through the Printer Configuration Wizard to try and connect and print to the CLP-315W.  This process took only a couple of minutes and without using a driver CD or additional software of any kind, we had detected, setup and configured this printer for use with Linux.  The process was very simple and painless - actually a lot more simple than with Windows.

 Detected
Detected
Driver In List
Driver In List

 

Once the printer had been setup through the aforementioned wizard in Ubuntu, we were able to print to it with any application we tried in both color and monochrome modes.  We were also able to configure it through the web interface as we'll see in a few moments.


Installation under Windows XP and Vista was painless as well.  To properly setup the computer for network printing, dropping the CD in the tray was the easiest solution.  The printer software installed quite quickly and once you'd selected that you wanted to use the CLP-315W as a network printer, it was detected and worked fine - wirelessly or through a wired network.  Below are a couple of screenshots of the Windows driver interface for the CLP-315W.

 Driver Graphics
Driver Graphics
Driver Layout
Driver Layout

 

Although you can do some configuration through the Windows printer driver settings, to administer and configure the printer properly you can connect to a web-based configuration utility and change network as well as many other settings.  Through the web interface, any machine with a web-browser can configure this printer.

Web Interface General
Web Interface General
 Supplies
Supplies
   
 Network Settings
Network Settings
 Wireless Connection
Wireless Connection

 

One thing you may notice is that there is only one set of network configuration settings such as IP Address.  Even though the printer has both wired and wireless connectivity options, only one can be used at a time.  If you plug in a network cable, the wireless features are disabled by default.  Once you've set up your wireless settings, simply turn on the wireless connection, unplug the network cable and you're running wirelessly.


General Testing:

Much like the CLP-300 we reviewed back in February of 2007, the CLP-315W claims 17ppm print speeds when printing black and up to 4ppm when printing color documents and pictures.  As usual, we broke out the stopwatch to verify these print speeds and found the printer to be pretty much bang on.  In order to achieve these print speeds, you have to forgive and forget the "first page out" time.  On black documents, the first page arrives in about 11 seconds, and when printing color documents, we see the first page come out right around the 27 second mark.  These are close to what Samsung rates the FPO speed and are pretty quick when compared to my older and much larger CLP-600N.

 Print Speed Chart

Like every other Samsung laser printer I've tested, the black quality of this printer is fantastic and black text appears very sharp, crisp and wonderful.  We printed out several test pages with various font sizes from 72 point fonts all the way down to 6 point fonts.  All of these were very clear with none of the edge bleeding that you can see on ink-jet printers.  Color text was equally impressive.  We printed Red, Blue, Green and Yellow text with the same text settings as when we printed black.  All of the text color was reproduced accurately and the improvement is quite obvious when compared to the CLP-300 that we tested back in the day.  (Yes, I still have the print output to compare).

We printed some color graphics and color photos with the CLP-315W as well.  Most laser printers print graphics exceptionally well, and the CLP-315W was no different.  Color graphics were very clean and looked great.  Color photos looked a bit washed out when compared to an inkjet printer, but the quality was still very acceptable.  Pictures looked quite good for a laser printer, but are still not framing quality due to some color banding/blending.

Samsung claims that this printer is quiet - less than 47dBA quiet when printing black and under 45dBA when printing color.  We used our trusty SPL meter and measured the noise at 1m.  During both black and color printing, the maximum noise from this printer topped just under 58dBA, with most of the sound actually coming from the paper as it was fed into the output tray.  In comparison, my CLP-600N reaches a maximum 65dBA when printing the same job.  The CLP-315W is quiet, but it might wake a baby if it's located by the crib.

 

Conclusion:

I'm very happy to see that the CLP-315W addresses some of the color quality issues that we saw with the CLP-300 while keeping a nice tidy footprint and the noise to an acceptable level.  The CLP-315W looks great and backs up its looks with solid performance, excellent connectivity and high quality printing.  It lives up to the advertised print speeds and while quite slow on color documents, it does actually live up to its specs.  I'm impressed with the multi-platform support as we had no issues under Windows XP, Vista or Ubuntu and all machines were able to connect and print to the printer over both wired and wireless networks equally well.  Print speed is not dependent upon the connection and no matter whether we hooked it up by either network connection, or by USB2.0, print speeds remained constant.

I'd still love to see a duplex feature in these smaller printers, but you can't have everything - especially for under $200.

 

Pros:

  • Affordable color laser
  • Wireless and wired network connectivity
  • Fast on black text
  • Nice small footprint
  • Quiet when compared to other printers 
  • Good color quality

 

Cons:

  • No duplex printing option
  • 150 sheet tray is a little small - one print job could empty it in less than 9 minutes.

 

 BCCRating

 

Top Pick

I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for sending the CLP-315W our way.  It has been interesting to review as it's been a long time since we looked at a printer.  If you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear them at the Comments link below.