Everything concerning the Samsung CLX-6260FW colour laser multifunction printer has class. The appearance and controls, the output, and even the software are first-rate. Even better, the CLX-6260FW colour laser wakes up quickly and performs its tasks with skill. Alas, as with many classy items, maintenance costs dearly: The CLX-6260FW printer's toner is champagne-priced and then some. See also: Group test: what's the best colour laser printer?
The Samsung CLX-6260FW has all the connectivity most situations require: Wi-Fi, USB, and gigabit ethernet. The unit is controlled via a 4.3-inch touchscreen, and the menus and options are arranged intuitively. As the CLX-6260FW faxes, a numeric keypad is present for dialing phone numbers as well as entering four-digit secure printing PINs. In addition to the usual cancel and other buttons, there's also an Eco button that switches the printer into economy mode where it uses less toner-- particularly apropos with this unit.
The Samsung CLX-6260FW comes standard with 512MB of memory, and it’s upgradeable to 1GB. There's also a USB-to-parallel-port option. The specified monthly duty cycle is 60,000 pages, and the unit carries a one-year warranty. The provided software supports all the chores of which the CLX-6260FW is capable (copy/fax/print/scan), as well as email and Internet printing. There's also scanning directly to social media sites and even conversion to e-Books.
The CLX-6260FW seems a bit short in standard paper capacity, even for a small workgroup. The bottom cassette holds 250 sheets, and the multi-purpose tray that folds down from just above it holds 50 sheets. The output tray, which is somewhat claustrophobically situated beneath the top-mounted scanner, holds 100 sheets. An affordable 520-sheet, bottom-mounted auxiliary tray is available to increase total capacity to 820 sheets. The ADF (automatic document feeder) holds 100 sheets. Two-sided (duplex) printing and scanning are both fully automated.
Samsung CLX-6260FW: print speeds
Mac users win the speed game, for once: The Samsung CLX-6260FW is posted better-than-average speeds on our Mac platform testing, but just middling speeds on our PC platform testing. Text and monochrome documents exit the unit at an aggregate 12.6 pages per minute (ppm) on the PC and 12.9 ppm on the Mac. Snapshot-sized, 4-by-6-inch photos print at 3.3 ppm to plain paper, and at about 1.25 ppm to laser glossy paper. On the Mac, our colour PDF newsletter printed at 6.4 ppm, and a full-page colour photo at 1.6 ppm. Copies exited at 4.5 ppm. Scan speeds were also decently fast.
Black output from the Samsung CLX-6260FW is sharp and then some--as good, or better than you see from any printer in its class. The colour output is also exceptional for a laser printer, with a realistic, albeit slightly subdued palette. All in all, you're not likely to complain about anything that exits this printer.
Samsung CLX-6260FW: print costs
Now for the bad news: Though discounted in stores as much as 20%, the toner for the CLX-6260FW is disconcertingly pricy. The standard 2,000-page black cartridge goes for around £40 from online stores, or 2 pence per page (ppp). That's tolerable for light use, but the £57, 1,500-page cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges work out to a whopping 3.8ppp apiece. That means you're paying around 12p for a standard four-colour page. The high-capacity £70, 6,000 page black and £89, 3,500-page colour cartridges reduce that to 8.6p per four-colour page, but even discounted, you're paying for pages with a £700 laser printer as if you bought a £50 inkjet. (And these prices are the best we could find online.)