Review: Samsung CLP-315W Color Laser Printer - Page 2

By Gerry Blackwell
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But then every 24,000 images or so, you also have to replace the imaging unit. That will cost about $140. Note, though, that this is images, not pages. Each unique page is one image. If you print it 1,000 times, it’s still only one image.

By way of contrast, page yields for the cartridges used by the HP K8600 inkjet printer are given as 850 pages for a black cartridge that sells for $22 and 2,450 pages for one that costs $38. The high-capacity color ink cartridges (three of them) yield from 1,540 to 1,980 pages and sell for about $27 each.

If you can trust the numbers quoted, and that the testing of laser and inkjet products is similar enough, then it would appear you pay less for inkjet consumables. Or at least, you pay less for consumables for one particular HP inkjet printer, the K8600, than you do for CLP-315W consumables.

Also you have to factor in the capital cost of replacing the printer. According to the duty cycle numbers, the laser printer should last longer given an equal amount of work.

Relatively Easy Set-Up

The CLP-315W offers a generally excellent out-of-the-box experience. Even the set-up procedure to use the CLP-315W on a Wi-Fi network is not terribly difficult, and it’s very clearly documented.

That said, it does include a few steps that might daunt low-tech users accustomed to simply plugging a printer into their computer with a USB cable – which you can also do with this printer if you don’t need to have it available on the network.

The CLP-315W has a multi-purpose Stop button on the top surface, and a power switch on the rear. Period. Still, assuming your network includes a DHCP server that automatically assigns IP addresses when you connect devices – which most small office and home networks do – the procedure is fairly straightforward, and worked perfectly in our testing.

Step by Step

You start by connecting the printer to your network access point or router using an Ethernet cable. The router should automatically assign it an IP address after a few minutes, although you won’t know if this has happened until you follow the next step.

Pressing and holding the Stop button on the CLP-315W prints out a network configuration report with an alarming amount of information. All you really need to pay attention to is the IP address. It will be either one in the range assigned by your router, if the assignment was successful, or the default IP address with which the printer ships, if it wasn’t.

Our case required an intermediate step because we use MAC filtering – we in effect tell the router to block all wireless devices except those whose MAC addresses appear in an address filtering list in the router’s software. So we had to copy the printer’s address from the network configuration report into that list. No biggie.

At this point, you use a computer on the network to connect to the printer’s configuration software by keying its new IP address into a browser address field. The interface appears in your browser window.

You will need to know the network’s name or SSID to complete the set-up. And if you use WPA (encryption security – instead of or in addition to MAC filtering), you will need to know the WPA key.

All that remains is to launch the configuration wizard, choose your network from the list of Wi-Fi networks the printer finds and key in the WPA key if needed. Now you can unplug the Ethernet cable and the printer will work wirelessly.

Bottom Line

If you need a work-horse printer for your small office or department, one capable of producing presentation-quality documents – and printing photos is a requirement but not a critical one – the CLP-315W deserves a close look.

Based in London, Canada, Gerry Blackwell has been writing about information technology and telecommunications for a variety of print and online publications since the 1980s.

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This article was originally published on September 25, 2008
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