So why did we do it? Simply because the Samsung CLP-315 isn't any more expensive that a black & white model. Why not go for colour then? After all you always can choose to print in mono on a daily basis.
The printer is supplied with starter toner cartridges. This means that black cartridge will roll out 1000 pages and the coloured ones 700 (as opposed to 1500 and 1000). Therefore the total yield for this package will be 1000 + 700 x 4 = 3800 pages. This is still better than what you get with monochromes. Epson, the most generous one, will only give you 3000 pages.
A colour printer with a mono price tag? Where is the catch? Samsung's strategy is simply to offer very aggressive prices. The example of their monochrome laser speaks for itself. It is a slightly cheaper than this colour model, but it is very small in size and stylish. It also offers both Ethernet and wireless connectivity, something that you will not find here. Make your choice!
Speed and quality
The CLP315 delivers 16 pages per minute in monochrome (that is 2 times more than a good inkjet and is a bit less than average for a laser monochrome) but only 4 pages per minute in colour. Less than inkjets then; usually at 6 ppm.
Text quality is excellent. It also gives decent results when printing marketing documents with a mix of text and graphics. We aren't exactly overwhelmed though. Inkjets do a better job in this area with sharper results when words are printed against a colour background. A good inkjet will also offer better contrasts, they are far too high here. The darker elements come out too dark. However, there is no dottiness and the results are smooth. When printing in mono, there is some banding.
You can compare the Samsung CLP315 to other laser printers in our Product Face-Offs.
• (entry level inkjet) Lexmark X2650 vs Samsung CLP-315
• (monochrome laser) Epson 6200L vs Samsung CLP-315
• (high end inkjet) Canon MP630 vs Samsung CLP-315
Photos can be printed out on plain paper rather than on dedicated photo paper used by inkjets. The quality is rather poor and could only be compared to the results of a lower end inkjet. You can print your photos to share them on paper but forget about storing them as lasting memories.
The printer is also rather nosiy.
Cost per page
La CLP-315 uses four toner cartridges (cyan, magenta, and yellow and black).
You can figure the cost per page according to the lifespan of the toner.
- Razor sharp text
- Speed when printing in B&W
- cost per page cheaper than inkjet
- Drivers for Windows, Linux et Mac provided
- Possibility to print out in B& W to save on toner
- Colour print quality
- Colour print speed
- Some fuzziness
- The colour prints aren't the greatest around, but this printer isn't more expensive than a black and white model.
The CLP-315 is a serious contender to inkjets. Colour laser is ready to enter the homes and no longer only be office equipment. Remember however that at this price, inkjets are multifunction : they can copy, they can scan and more often than not have wireless connectivity. You will get none of that here.