Performance

December 18, 2012 by Sarah Meyer Reads (12,397)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service & Support
    • 6
    • Print Quality
    • 8
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Performance / Print Speed
    • 7
    • Features
    • 7
    • Operational Costs
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.33
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Performance

Setting up the CLX-4195fw
The CLX-4195fw comes with a Quick Installation Guide that takes users through the basic setup: unpack, install the single toner cartridge, load paper, connecting power cord and fax line and selecting how you’d like to setup the CLX-4195fw.

The CLX-4195fw offers wireless and if you choose to set up the device over a wireless connection, there is a second Network Installation Guide for this purpose. The easiest way to setup the CLX-4195fw is to connect the printer to your computer via the provided USB cable and let the provided CD do the work.

Once you pop in the CD, you’ll be asked to agree to a voluntary data collection program. I always decline this as I never have the printers or drivers installed long enough to make a difference. You’ll need to confirm your connection choice (I chose wireless) and then make sure the printer is connected via the USB cable. The software will then search out available networks and you’ll need to pick the correct one. You will also need to turn on Wi-Fi Direct (if you choose to enable it) during the connection process.

Once the setup is complete, you’ll move on to choosing the software you want to install and decided if you want to enable the Smart Update feature. I did just to see if the CLX-4195fw came with the latest software in the box, which it did.

After the installation is complete, you can print a test page and register the CLX-4195fw online. You might also want to consider installing the additional software like the Easy Color Manager and AnyWeb Print 2.0 now if you plan on using them.

Ease of Use
As far as software goes, you’ll find the basic Samsung Easy Print Manager and, as I mentioned above, you can install Samsung’s Easy Color Manager and AnyWeb Print, but they aren’t vital to the printer functionality. The Easy Print Manager is sort of a “home base,” offering easy access to the Easy Document Creator, PCFax, SyncThru Web Service, Samsung’s website, User’s Guide and Easy Color Manger (if you have it installed).

You’ll also find real time status info on toner and paper, a link for ordering supplies and access to troubleshooting. If you want more control over the CLX-4195fw, you can switch to the advanced mode of the Easy Print Manager and have access to all of the above as well as devices settings, scan to PC settings, fax to PC settings and alert settings. And if you have more than one Samsung printer in your office, you can access all the devices from the advanced Easy Print Manager mode.

Gone is the Samsung Scan Assistant we saw with the SCX-3405fw and in its place we find the Easy Document Creator. This new software gives users five easy ways to scan in content and then share it in different ways.

Quick Scan automatically scans whatever is on the flatbed/in the ADF and pulls it up in the software. You can do some light editing and then save it to your folder. If you want to change the configurations, you can do so by selecting the configuration option.

The Scan software option provides more options with a selection between image scanning, document scanning, text converting and book scanning. Within each option, you can select custom image type, resolution, document size, document source, multiple pages, auto crop, blank page detection and more.

The SNS Upload option allows users to send scans directly to social media outlets including: Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Google and Twitter.

The eBook Conversion is awesome for businesses that use texts. Scan in the portions of the text and the software will automatically convert to a file format that can be used on e-readers. Having had to deal with professors who insist on using an obscure text, I saw the value in this software immediately. It can also be great for other professions where you need to send large quantities to text to employees easily.

The final option is the Send Fax option for sending documents and images already saved on the computer (this can also be accessed via the Fax button in the Easy Printer Manager). PCFax is fairly basic; add the files you want to send, then input the details: recipients and their fax number as well as an optional cover page. You can preview before you send.

If you decided to set up the CLX-4195fw over a network, you’ll have access to the SyncThru Web Service which gives users real time status reports, supplies information, usage counts, current settings, print information and maintenance information.

You can also adjust most of these same settings using the print properties/preferences menu found in your browser or word processor. What’s interesting about the print properties menu is that if you select the Eco tab, Samsung provides a simulator that lets customers know how much they are potentially saving by changing each print setting.

The CLX-4195fw is also easy to use as a standalone device thanks to the front side USB port and network connectivity options. You can copy, scan and fax as well as adjust settings, check job status and enable the eco-friendly functionality from the touchscreen. The only issue I had with using the CLX-4195fw control panel was when I tried to cancel a job. I printed two copies of our 40-page document when testing so I walked up to the printer and hit the stop button, but the printer wouldn’t register the action and it printed all 80-pages.

If your employees are equipped with Smartphones and/or tablets, you can print from or scan to the CLX-4195fw with the Samsung Mobile Print App. I downloaded it to my iPad and then printed a picture I took from my camera roll as well as an article from the internet. I liked that when printing from the internet, you can unselect pages so you don’t print the nonsense that tends to the follow the article or image you want.


Camera roll print sample, left, web print sample, right

Print Speed and Quality
Samsung advertises the CLX-4195fw as being capable of print speeds up to 19 ppm in both black and white and color. And while we noticed no difference in print speeds between text and color images, I did notice that the print speeds weren’t quite as consistent as we’ve seen the past.

I believe the issue stems from setting up the CLX-4195fw over a wireless connection because the device is capable of printing 19 ppm (it did so multiple times during our tests) but it often pauses in the middle of a job to process information, slowing down the average print speeds to closer to 16 ppm. Depending on your network and how many people are on it at a given time, you may find that print speeds vary.

The print quality was great, and I’ve come to expect that from Samsung after reviewing several of their laser products. I love that you can adjust the color settings with the Easy Color Manager so that the colors are a closer match to what you see on your computer screen. Samsung isn’t the first manufacturer to offer this feature, but they definitely make it easy to use for amateurs like me.

You’ll find solid black text with no fading or other flaws in normal mode. The text is slightly lighter in toner saver mode so you may be able to extend the life of your toner cartridge, but you won’t be saving much else according to the eco simulator with a reading of 0% energy and paper savings and only 1% CO2 savings.


CLX-4195fw normal print sample, left, CLX-4195fw draft print sample, right

I was shocked to realize that the CLX-4195fw only offers manual duplexing considering the price tag and the major emphasis on the eco-friendly features. I would have liked to see Samsung include automatic duplexing.

I had zero paper jams during my review which always makes me happy. I am still irritated that I couldn’t cancel a print job by using the control panel though.


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