Samsung SCX-4623F review
Samsung is developing quite a name for itself as a producer of low-price, high-value mono laser printers and all-in-ones. The SCX-4623F is based on the SCX-4600, though with the addition of an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and fax functionality. The machine has a friendly feel, thanks to all the wide-radius curves and thick surrounds to its trays.
It also has a modest footprint, with only a slight flare from the A4 print engine out to the scanner section which, as normal, has its flatbed scanner set in a landscape orientation. There's no protruding paper tray either, so the whole machine has a neatness not that common in budget printers.
The 40-sheet ADF feeds to the top of the flatbed cover, in the normal way, and in front of the scanner sits a deep, full-width control panel, offering plenty of room for the relatively few controls set into it. There's a backlit, two-line by 16-character LCD display, with three illuminated mode buttons, for scan, copy and fax, to the right.
A four-way navigation ring is then bordered by another of rotating blue LEDs to show when the machine is busy. Further right is a number pad for entering fax numbers, though there are no single-button speed-dials. Finally, on the right are buttons to start and stop scan and copy jobs.
The two remaining buttons, to the left of the display, offer specialist extra functions. One of them automatically prints whatever is on the screen of the Mac connected to the SCX-4623F, which is very handy. The other enables you to scan both sides of an ID card and print the two images on a single page. We assume that this must be a very useful function as it's appearing on an increasing number of all-in-ones, though it seems a bit of a niche feature to us.
Below the control panel is a slot where pages exit from the top of the printer section of the machine, coming to rest with a convenient inch or so protruding from the front. Below that is a single-sheet feed slot for special media and at the bottom is a 250-sheet main paper tray.
At the back are sockets for USB, a fax line and a third-party handset. There's no network connection as standard on this machine, though you can buy the SCX-4623FN for around £40 more, which does have Ethernet networking built in. A wireless network server would also be an option.
Setup is very straightforward, as the combined drum and toner cartridge simply slots in from the front, once you've pulled down the machine's front cover. Software includes the necessary drivers, Samsung's strangely named SmarThru scanning program and a screen grab application for the single-button screen print.
Samsung claims a speed of 22ppm for this machine, but in tests we saw a maximum of just under 15ppm. This is still reasonable for this class of laser engine, just not quite as quick as the manufacturer thinks. Copy speeds are also good, with a single page coming through from the flatbed in 12 seconds and a five-page document copying from the ADF taking 26 seconds. A 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 sheet took little longer than straight text, coming through in 14 seconds.
Print quality is much better than from many budget lasers we've looked at before. Black text is excellent - dense and crisp from the 1200dpi resolution - and business graphics are also well reproduced, with smooth greyscales substituting for colours. Some colour shades reproduced as the same greyscale on this machine, where other printers can differentiate between them, but you could tweak the software to improve things, here.