single-pass colour laser, 20.0ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 445x465x465mm
Samsung's CLP-600N is the most expensive printer in this test, but its specification isn't particularly impressive.
It doesn't support PCL or PostScript and has a lower duty cycle than many more affordable printers. Its 2,000-page starter toners seem stingy compared with those of the Dell or HP printers. Canon's £155 LBP-5000 has slightly more generous supplies.
Unlike the other printers in this test, the CLP-600N is arranged sideways, so that paper travels left and right as it moves through the printer, rather than forward and back. The 250-sheet paper cassette slides out at the front, but the 100-sheet multipurpose feed is at the right, and requires a lot of clearance when in use. The layout doesn't seem as space-efficient as that of a printer with both inputs on the same side.
Toners for the CLP-600N are not ready fitted. They're easy to install, but blue clouds spilled out when we opened the cyan toner's package, and the cartridge was liberally dusted. It didn't seem to be damaged, and we've never had a similar problem with Samsung's toners before, so it's likely that this was a one-off leak.
Despite a strong smell of toner during printing, there was no excess cyan toner on the prints, but their quality was still poor. This was the only printer to produce significant banding. Different colours were slightly misaligned, leaving colour shadows round the outline of colour text. Graphics were otherwise fairly good, with accurate colours, but dark regions in photos were very crudely shaded.
Only Samsung's own CLP-300N and the inexpensive LaserShot were slower than the CLP-600N when printing text, but this printer was the joint fastest to finish our mixed colour test. Despite the limited starter toners its running costs are reasonable, particularly for anyone printing medium or high volumes.