Samsung’s CLP-670ND color laser printer performs satisfactorily or better across the board, making it a viable choice for your workgroup or small office. Samsung’s suggested price for the CLP-670ND is $858 (as of October 29, 2010), but we’ve seen it online priced at anywhere from $500 to $750. Unfortunately, the consumables are expensive unless you opt for the high-yield supplies.
The two-tone gray CLP-670ND has a minimal onboard interface: a two-line LCD; four-way rocker navigation; and Okay, Cancel, and Sleep buttons. It’s easy enough to use, but the printer’s Web page (if you’re connected via ethernet), driver, and Windows software monitor are far more informative and capable interfaces to the printer.
The CLP-670ND’s standard configuration includes automatic duplexing, a 250-sheet input tray, a 100-sheet multipurpose tray, and a 200-sheet output top tray. The output tray exits toward the back of the printer. Its foldout extension is essential for keeping paper from spilling over the back edge, but it’s a bit annoying, too, because it’s narrow and allows the paper to droop around it. We’d like to see something more substantial. An optional bottom-mounted, 500-sheet cassette ($286) is available. A single empty SODIMM slot on board lets you upgrade the unit from 256MB to 768MB. The standard warranty covers one year.
Samsung bundles two handy and unique utilities with the CLP-670ND. AnyWeb Print lets you grab elements from disparate Web pages within Internet Explorer and combine them into a single document. Easy Color Manager allows you to tweak the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your print, using a sample section of the screen.
The CLP-670ND has a hefty 80,000-page monthly duty cycle, and its speed ranges from good to blazingly fast. Printing documents consisting mostly of plain text with a few simple grayscale graphics scattered about, the printer averaged 14.1 pages per minute on the Mac and 14.9 ppm on the PC—midrange speeds. On the PC, snapshot-size photo samples (printed on letter-size media) galloped out at an amazing 3.75 ppm at default settings on plain letter-sized paper, and they printed at 3.5 ppm on glossy photo paper at finer settings. On the Mac, our near-full-page, high-resolution color photo took 69 seconds to print, an average rate.
The CLP-670ND’s output quality is average for a midlevel laser printer. Text is sharp. Color images looked natural, though a little pale and flat. Upon closer scrutiny, we observed patterning and graininess, but the overall level of quality is more than adequate for business graphics and general-purpose photos. Offices that need finer quality should try to find room in their budgets for the Dell 5130cdn, the Lexmark C792de, or the Xerox Phaser 7500.
Toner costs for the CLP-670ND are on the high side. The standard-size supplies (included with the unit) include a 2500-page black ($90, or 3.6 cents per page) and, 2000-page cyan, magenta, and yellow ($99 each). Combined, a four-color page costs a whopping 18.4 cents–more than many inkjets. The high-capacity cartridges double the page yields but cost only $120 for the black and $140 apiece for the colors. Those relative bargains drop the per-page toner cost to a far more reasonable 2.4 cents for black and 3.5 cents for each color (or 12.9 cents for a four-color page).
Macworld’s buying advice
The Samsung CLP-670ND’s middle-of-the-road speed, print quality, and features should appeal to a small office or workgroup with mainstream graphic ambitions. Unfortunately, its pricier toner means that you’ll have to monitor usage carefully.