They got a lot of things right. Compared to the Brother MFC-7860DW, this Samsung has some advantages (see below).
Supply costs are a disadvantage. Samsung's proprietary, chip-protected supplies are about 20% more expensive per page than Brother supplies. Third party toner is not currently available. It could cost you an extra $100 to $1000+ over the years (see below).
* Feature rich. Seems well thought out and well engineered. No problems yet.
- Fan noise stops immediately after printing (see Note 1)
- Printing from mobile devices is better supported (see Note 2)
- Energy efficient while on standby (0.6 watts -- see Note 3)
- Eco Button and status light on main panel. Handy, but a hassle at first (see Note 4)
- No paper manual (Quick start guides only). Downloaded .PDF manual (325-pages) is complete and mostly clear (see Tip)
- Comes with 1200-page "Standard Toner cartridge" (MLT-D116S)
* Supply costs - May be $100 to $1000 more than for Brother over a 5 year period (see below).
- Some hassles with the user manual and complex features (see Note 4).
- - - Supply Costs: They Add Up - - -
Per . . . . . 5 years @ . . 5 years @ . . 5 Years @
Page . . . . 3,000/yr . . . 6,000/yr . . . 12,000/yr
-------- . . . ----------- . . . ---------- . . . ------------
2.73 cents . . $410 . . . . . $820 . . . . $1640 - Samsung supplies (MLT-D116L, MLT-R116)
2.3 cents . . . $330 . . . . . $660 . . . . $1320 - Brother supplies (TN-450, DR-420)
0.9 cents . . . $135 . . . . . $270 . . . . $ 540 - Brother drum, 3rd party toner
See Note SB1 for calculations. All supply costs are at Amazon prices.
- - - Pricing - - -
The amazon price jumps around between 180 and 280. There's an "Online Price Alert" that will email you whenever this or any amazon product dips below your target price. Google it. It's nicely done. Or try camelcamelcamel, which also shows price history.
- - - Tip - - -
Download the complete .PDF manual from the Samsung site and read it in Adobe reader. The HTML manual included on the CD doesn't work well with Chrome browsers and even in IE I found it awkward.
- - - Notes - - -
Note 1: Brother's renowned fan noise that drones on for 10 minutes after each print job...Samsung found a way to turn the fan off right away. Nice!
Note 2: Mobile device support. Apple's AirPrint is supported. Samsung's free Mobile Print app worked great on my iPhone. Brother MFC-7860DW does not support AirPrint. Brother's iPrint&Scan app works, but does not integrate with all your iPhone apps. It does not put the printer on each app's print menu. Samsung's Mobile Print app does. Nice! (By the way, ANY printer can be accessed from your iOS devices via AirPrint if you install the almost-free handyPrint program on your Mac. However, it only works while your Mac is powered on.)
Note 3: Power drain on standby. It's 24x7. It adds up. It's lowest if you network with wire. With WiFi off, the Samsung is only 0.6 watts vs 1.3 watts for Brother vs 7.3 watts for a much older Brother model.
Note 4: Eco Mode is a hassle at first. Here is an example of how feature rich this machine is. But also how it's frustrating at times. Eco mode turns on Toner Save, Skip Blank Pages, Double Sided Printing, and 2 Pages-to-1 Printing. That last one is a deal killer. Most people want the first three, but they don't want most photocopy and print jobs shrunk 2-to-1. Fixing this takes at least 20 minutes of wrestle-time with the manual. 1) Figure out the printer's IP address. 2) Access the machine's SynchThru Web Service with your browser. 3) Log in using a password on page 123 of the advanced manual. 4) Hit Settings, Machine Settings, System, Eco Settings, Custom Settings, Edit. This was all in the manual, but it was not very clear.
- - - Super Boring Notes - - -
Samsung supplies - MLT-D116L is $64/3000 pages = 2.13 cents per page. MLT-R116 (drum) is $54/9000 pages = 0.6 cents per page.
Brother supplies - TN-450 is $45/2600 pages = 1.73 cents per page. DR-420 (drum) is $67/12,000 = 0.56 cents per page.
Brother drum, 3rd party toner - SOL REFILL KIT 2-Pack for Brother TN-450 $8.25/5200 pages = 0.16 cents per page. DR-420 $67/12,000 = .56 cents per page. One time purchase of genuine Brother TN-450 (starter cartridge lacks flag gear) ($45.00 - $4.12)/24000 = $0.17
Supply prices are average amazon prices for April - December 2013, sales tax not included.
~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~
on July 31, 2013
I was a little worried about upgrading to a multifunction printer - the usual axiom is that the more things you try to do, the worse you'll do them. This printer really does do it all, and does it all well. My only complaint is that there are a few undocumented functions which I'll cover below.
Printing: it prints quickly and is the quality is very sharp. It supports just about every printing method you would want - raw socket printing, USB, internet printing, print over http, etc.
Fax: It works as you would expect a fax machine to work (not a whole lot to say here).
Scanning: In addition to the regular scan, there is also scan to PC which I really love. Stick a stack of papers to digitize in the paper tray, hit scan to PC, and a few minutes later a PDF (or tiff or jpeg if you prefer) file will appear in the designated folder on your PC. Easy as pie, and if you're working on your PC at the same time, you won't even notice. Since I run a small business, but hate keeping paper around, (so I want to scan everything for my records), I find this feature invaluable. You can and obviously should set a password on this feature so no one else can drop files on your computer remotely.
Copying: You can do regular (1 sheet) copying, or bulk copying through the tray at the top. You can also set it to do 1->2 or 2->2 double sided copying. Really everything you'd want in a copier.
Set-up: Initial set up was easy, and can be done with with a directly connected USB, connecting to the printer's wireless network, or connecting to a wired network and getting a DHCP address. However the manual included on the CD neglected one crucial piece of information - the username and password for the web console so you can change the settings. The username is admin, and the password is sec00000 - with that you can log in and set up your printer.
Over the years I have had many different copiers which claimed they would be great. Well, this is a great copier, scanner, fax machine combination. Set up instructions were very poor and would have been better if the easy set up instructions were printed out with directions rather than just pictures.
That being said, the rest of the set up once you took away all the tape, foam, and other packaging materials was easy. I plugged it into the electric, hooked up the phone line, and USB to the computer and away we went.
Copies are crystal clear. It is only black and white, but how many color copies do you really print? Recipes, instructions, or the like are usually in black and white. I also like that it holds a lot of paper 250 sheets and there is an indicator on the front which shows how much paper is left in the tray. The first copy comes out in about 8 1/2 seconds and after that 29 per minute.
Get this one for your home office and you will be happy. Samsung makes me happy!
June 29 2014
Now that I have had this for some time, there are some additional ideas. First of all, they have made a larger cartridge for copies and that is really great since you save operating expense. I use this copier almost exclusively for printing things off the computer. It is very handy and quick.
Two sided copying is a real plus as many of the things I do require extra pages and this one saves paper. Great storage capacity is another plus ( I hate having to load paper all the time and this one is really ample). The copier is great since I can scan photos in color and store them for sending to family and friends. Have been very happy with Samsung, really!!!
on July 13, 2013
I CANNOT get this thing to print envelopes correctly. It always starts printing on the last inch of the envelope (using Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, and also tried Envelopes for Google Docs), so you only get an inch of misplaced text. (Edit: the manufacturer pointed out in a reply to my post that the printer only prints to certain sizes of envelopes, and provided a list of the supported envelope sizes. I was trying to print to No. 6 3/4 envelopes, which it does not support.)
Also, duplex scanning requires two steps. You have to scan one side (with the option "Edit after scanning" checked), then click the "Scan other side" button, then flip over and re-feed the stack of documents to be scanned. Not a big deal, but something worth noting since I didn't realize that it didn't have duplex scanning.
Other than all that, this is the best deal for a wifi laser multi-function. It's got great Mac software and drivers (other than the whole envelopes thing). It's great about going to energy saver mode just moments after you stop using it, but warms up almost instantly when you need it again. It also turns on (from having the power strip turned off) surprisingly quickly. All in all, a great, compact, inexpensive, high performing multi-function.
on June 18, 2013
Bought this from Amazon, after Amazon intelligently suggested this one as new product version while trying to buy an earlier version. Bought this because was told on chat with Samsung rep that it has duplex for both scanning and copying. However, have yet to test that capabilities.
Made a mistake of connecting with a USB cable, and not lan cable, so that the wireless network was double work and a bit of pain. I wish the instruction and installation software was clearer that connecting to lan cable is alway preferred whenever network connections are desired.
Seems a good over all value.
This is probably the best multi-function office machine I've ever owned. It combines pretty much all the usual office gadgets in one unit and makes them better.
It comes with 3 guides: a quick installation and overall guide, a wireless network install quick guide and a CD containing the user's guide and printer software. With so many functions, there is a lot to learn but the good thing is you only need to do this once for your current system.
This unit combines a fax, scanner, printer and copier. This actually makes a lot of sense since each of those functions utilizes the same hardware. For example, the fax, scanner and copier all uses the scanner unit. The fax outputs to the phone line, the scanner outputs to software/editing program, and the copier outputs to paper, etc. Once your paper is scanned, it's just a matter of software how you output it.
What makes this unit better than my old combo printer/scanner/fax is that it connects wirelessly to all my computers via my router so I only need one multi-unit instead of several. This is a sure money saver because I won't have to buy ink for all my other devices. And it's even backwards compatible to the old 802.11b devices. And for the first time for me it prints direct from any smartphone or tablet via wifi. I can't remember how many times I'd wish I could print a coupon or something from my phone without having to save it to the computer first.
There are a few nice bells and whistles on this unit. There is an Eco button in grayscale (for drafts), separate toner system, print manager, double sided printing, etc.
Printers have come a long way since the old daisywheels or injets. The quality of the printouts are excellent, the max resolution of this printer is 4800 x 600 dpi.
I spent a long time comparing the specs of comparable units from other brands, but it's hard to make a straight comparison comparing exact specs since they are all slightly different. Even the same brand makes several units that differ in only a few regards. What I have found is that this unit has the best print resolution in this price range (at this current moment) but prices do fluctuate and some printers are deeply discounted when a new series is about to come out.
Toner prices appear roughly comparable with comparable units. I don't find that toner prices are a big issue with me. At several thousand pages I only change toners at the most once a year and the price differentials become negligible over that amount of time. Toner prices only become an issue with heavy usage. How many pages do you plan on printing and would you get a lower quality printer to save money on toner? Currently there may not be a third party toner for this printer since this printer is new but third parties do make replacement and remanufactured toners for others Samsungs so it's just a matter of time.
An excellent multi-function unit with high quality printouts. It replaces several units in my home. The only thing I cannot tell is how it will stand the test of time; that's an update for another day.
on July 24, 2013
This printer gets good reviews here and I want to relate my recent out of box experience on a mac. (may be similar with PC) Though I am technically literate I find this printer jumbled and confusing to setup and use. Put in the cd, and stumble your way to the right icon to click on and hope it was the the right one. I did not do the "USB setup method" as it just seemed silly in this age of find the SSID and enter the wireless passkey wala it connects. (like everything else that we setup with our home wireless networks) I did plug into my wireless router via ethernet and the Mac did find it, and it was able to print. The user manual and tiny 2 line display on the printer make for a difficult time to access what does look like a lot of nice features. But how to get to them. My first fax took me 5 minutes to figure out even after having pre entered a few speed dial numbers. Just getting through the menu items to find the numbers is clunky each time. I wish this had a nice big display and dedicated most used buttons (like speed dial for sending a fax) to let me do my work!
I am unable to scan anything as the software on the computer indicates "unable to find" scanner "turn it on"? Trying to initialize a scan on the unit itself does no better. Says "not available" in the only 2 options.
On the positive side it does print quickly and make copies nicely. I am able to send faxes.
**Edit** I was able to resolve the scanning problem with a 2nd install from the cd. I want to bump it up as I had a good Samsung online chat experience as I was registering the printer. I see downloads and firmware updates available which could prove helpful. My primary gripe is with the documentation and navigation of the unit. Unit itself appears to be good quality.
I did eventually figure out how to copy the on Cd user manual so that I might wade through it, but it's going to be a slow go to get full use. I am now trying my second re-install to see if I can figure out how to get the scanner working or use it in wifi mode. (not connected to my router)
Good price, good prints, but not ready for Samsung prime time for setup, navigation, or easy use.
Disappointing, as I am partial to Samsung products. It's not a lemon (yet), but sure isn't up to what I thought would be a clean Samsung experience out of the box.
I'm guessing the other users expected much less or had simpler needs.
on October 20, 2014
As far as a printer/copier goes -- this machine has worked flawlessly but.. I have experienced and have also seen other postings online about how the document scanner and scans produce "noticeably" crooked documents.. I have rescanned in bulk documents several times with the auto feeder and experience the same "crooked" PDF files... Even using the flatbed scanner -- the documents come out "crooked." Machine would have gotten a higher rating from me but for this issue...
on March 17, 2014
Small, FAST to warm up/print, good quality prints, Inexpensive
-No "scan to email" function. Everything scans to a file in a folder which you then have to attach to an email. Brother machines have a "scan to email" function that allows you with one button press to scan a document and have an email open up with the document attached.
-Scanning a document requires 6 button presses every time. First you have to wake the machine. Then you have to press the "scan" button. Then you have to wait for the machine to connect to the PC (which is odd considering I have the machine installed via USB, not WiFi, so it should always be connected, wouldn't you think???) then you have to press 'OK" 5 more times to go through the various options, assuming you don't want to adjust any options which would then mean more button presses.
-Connection issues. At least once a day I have to reboot my computer to regain connectivity to the printer. Simply cycling the power on the printer itself does not resolve the issue. I have to close out everything I'm working on in order to reboot my desktop so the two machines can talk to each other again. Remember, I'm connected via USB, not WiFi, so there's no weak signal or interference like you would expect with a WiFi connection.
I can't speak to the long term with this machine as I've only had it 2 weeks or so. It's increased the time it takes me to perform my job. If you're a home office or lite user not scanning more than a few times a day/week then this is a great option. As I am a power user in a paper-hungry office I need a more robust machine. I thought I could save a few dollars with this machine but it's cost me more in productivity than it saved me in up front costs.
on July 10, 2013
I have only had this unit for one day, but I do like it! At $203 with free shipping, it was a definite steal. However, I noticed it's back up to $249 again. Buying stuff on Amazon is like the stock market sometimes. The print quality is excellent and FAST, even for photographs. Yes it only prints in monochrome, but the photo print quality is surprisingly crisp. The printer is also very quiet.
The scan quality (which is color) is also very crisp. I really liked that the scanned documents can be uploaded to my computer right from the printer console. The output options include pdf, jpg, tiff, multipage pdf & miltipage tiff. The Samsung Easy Document Creator software also works if you prefer to control the scanning from the computer instead.
The only con so far is that the wireless setup could have been better documented. I used the WPS buttons on the printer and my router to connect (it did take a while), rather than following the instructions based on a USB connection. This was option was not included in the setup documentation and it should have been. It's probably much easier than the USB method would have been and no WPA SSIDs or passwords need to be entered. This is the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. Once the wireless setup is a complete, it's definitely a 5 star unit!
I will update this review if my impressions change at all.
First update: Google cloud printing functionality needs some work. I had to update the firmware to even use the google cloud printing (directly to the printer without going through a connected computer). Now the google cloud app on my Nexus 7 can only produce printed error messages. However, test prints through the google cloud website do work.
Second Update: I replaced my wireless router and no wall the Google Cloud features are working properly. Don't ask me why. Was it the router or the printer? I have no idea. I did have difficulty moving the printer over to the new router's wireless network. That should have been much more seamless than it was and I do know how to set up home wireless networks.
All cloud printing (including the Nexus 7) through my PC does work. This means that the PC has to be turned on and I must be logged in.