It's only been in recent years that Samsung has brought its expertise in printing technology to the lowest regions of the laser market. But, following the triumphant Sasmung ML-1915 comes another sparkling model.
The Samsung SCX-4600 is essentially the ML-1915 with knobs on, those particular knobs comprising quality scanning and copying components that upgrade this to a fully-blown multifunction device.
The extra space required for the scanner and copier prevents the Samsung SCX-4600 from being as compact and streamlined as the ML-1915, and it tips the scales at 10.6kg - almost half as much again. It's still a relatively attractive laser device, with the black casing and curves creating a similarly pleasing effect on the eye.
The Samsung SCX-4600 is well made, and unlikely to fall apart under the strains of everyday home or office life. It's more likely to fit in the home, since it doesn't have a network connection - only USB is provided. In this, and in many of its specifications, it's very similar to the ML-1915.
Again the Samsung SCX-4600's input tray holds up to 250 sheets. We found this required some grappling with, and it's not the smoothest of paper trays to slide in and out. We experienced no issues with the paper feed, and the output tray isn't easy to get to, hidden away as it is in the middle of the printer.
As with the ML-1915, the Samsung SCX-4600's output tray can hold just 80 sheets, although you're unlikely to be relying on a low-priced model like this for large print jobs.
The Samsung SCX-4600 retains the innovations of the ML-1915, and we're glad to see the Print Screen button remains. Quickly press this button, and the Samsung will print out whatever's up on the screen at the time - or, should you want to print the active window instead, hold it down for a few seconds.
As with the ML-1915, this is a fast and convenient option that's perfect for those moments when you want to take a quick snapshot without having to wade through menus and windows.
We found this Samsung SCX-4600 to be slightly faster than the ML-1915, and in the Normal mode, it printed text at the very decent rate of 17.6ppm.
The Best mode took only marginally longer, with the speed of 16.2ppm still proving very good. In both cases we found the text to be smooth and fairly well defined - it's certainly superior to that of any inkjet you'll find, and the speeds for real quality are much higher too.
Graphics printing on the Samsung SCX-4600 took marginally longer (13.6ppm and 12ppm for an A4 photo in Normal and Best modes), but the results were reasonably clear for a mono laser. This will prove quite good enough for diagrams, PowerPoint presentations, and even the odd photo - just as long as you don't expect to see too much detail in the latter.
One small niggle with the Samsung SCX-4600 is that the laser does sometimes need a bit of extra time to start print jobs where the type of content is different (moving from a text job to a graphics-based one, for instance). We sometimes registered an additional 30 seconds on top of the normal times. Provided you're not constantly switching from one type to another, though, the Samsung SCX-4600's speed is very good.
And the Samsung SCX-4600 can scan as well - we found the reproduction to be reasonably faithful. Indeed, the scanner lid has a hinge and so can accommodate books and thick media rather than simply paper-thin content.
If anything, the Samsung SCX-4600 works even better as a printer than the ML-1915. It’s marginally faster, and the quality of prints seems slightly improved. But the price remains modest, and given that you get a very flexible scanning component as well, this counts as another outstanding purchase from Samsung.