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Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

After seeing pics of Samsung’s new slim and sexy printers, I fell in love. Exclusively sold through Apple, the ML-1630 ($200) and multi-function SCX-4500 ($300) feature an unconventional design with a high-gloss black finish and slim form. After wiping off the drool off my face, I dashed to the Apple store in San Francisco and picked up the multi-function version.

Here are pics from the unboxing and my initial raves and rants:

Unboxing

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

Samsung SCX 4500 Printer

What I like

Black is beautiful
I’m a sucker for good looks, and this printer doesn’t disappoint the eyes. Despite its unglamorous name, the SCX-4500 is one sweet piece of eyecandy. The black case, slim design, and high-gloss finish elevates the printer to the level of high-end stereo systems.

Less is more
With a tiny San Francisco apartment like mine, I’m usually very careful about buying new appliances and furniture. Since I bought this on a whim, I took a chance on the printer being bigger than expected. Fortunately, the printer turned out to fit nicely into my small home. Although a tad tall, it’ll look great on a desk next to a new iMac.

If you must hide it for some maniacal reason, you’ll also have an easier time fitting it into a cabinet than most other printers.

Shhhh
I also like the printer’s relatively quiet operation. While it’s not totally mute, it’s much quieter than the cacaphanous rumbling of typical laser printers.

Super-easy toner installation
If you hate installing toner cartridges, you’ll love how easy it is on this printer. The entire top portion of the printer lifts up effortlessly and locks in place while you slide the toner cartridge in. Though you won’t need them, instructions are also clearly printed near the toner slot.

What I don’t like

Unboxing is unsexy
When you open an Apple product, it’s like opening a present. Both the inside and outside packaging are thoughtfully considered and put-together. Since Apple is exclusively selling these new printers, you’d expect the Samsung unboxing experience would be as nice as opening a new Apple product. It’s not.

While the outside of the box has a fairly nice design–it could be simpler–the inside packaging is terrible. Instruction sheets are unceremoniously loose in the box, likely to fly away if you have the windows open. The printer and cables are wrapped in ugly plastic. Finally, the welcome letter, registration cards, and warranty information all look like they were designed by different people.

Other companies, like Seagate, have taken a cue from Apple and have designed unboxing experiences that enhance the emotional experience of using an electronic device. Samsung needs to catch up.

Paper-catcher is janky
In all official product shots of the printer, you see a nice clean square black box. What you don’t see is the extra attachment you’ll need to connect to catch the paper when it prints. This paper-catcher is a separate piece of plastic and not built into the printer. It feels very much like a last-minute design decision, and it scars the clean lines of the printer.

Small paper capacity
Here’s where my impulse buying gets me into trouble. I didn’t bother to check paper compacity before buying, so I was shocked when I pulled out the paper tray to see how shallow it is. It holds only 100 sheets of paper!

No built-in scanner sharing
I had no problem connecting the printer to my Airport Express and printing wirelessly from it. Scanning, however, requires a direct connection. This isn’t exactly a fault with Samsung, since Apple doesn’t yet support scanner sharing via Airport. But I do wish the printer had built-in networking. There is a solution with Belkin’s new Wireless Network USB Hub. But sadly, Mac drivers aren’t yet available.

My final word

While the packaging and unboxing experience won’t leave a lasting impression, the Samsung multi-function SCX-4500’s sleek look will certainly turn heads and ignite envy. Your friends might even confuse it for a stereo.

The printer’s stylish and slim design is well-suited for a swanky bachelor or bachelorette who wants to impress a date. But for heavy printing, scanning, and copying in a multi-user home, you won’t want to buy this on impulse.

16 Comments

  • Taylor

    gravatarSep 24, 2007
    9:27 am

    Chanpory, nice post. I recently bought a Canon Multifunction (MP600) while ordering a MBP, similar but slightly shorter form factor, has some cool design considerations but not as slick.

    One thing I’m not so hot on in a lot of technology coming out is the use of glossy black plastics, I have a Samsung 40″ LCD HDTV for video games and HD-DVDs. It is incredible–¦Â other than the glossy black plastic, it collects a ton of dust on it, and the glossiness makes it all the more noticeable. So, if you want to impress your friends with the printer in person be prepared with some Windex and a nice soft cloth to clean up the dust.

  • Jon

    gravatarSep 24, 2007
    9:56 am

    It so modern it looks retro. Like 80’s cyborg future kind of retro. So much like a burnerless stove I want to boil water on it. Maybe it’s just the flash on the camera. Still, it’s way cooler looking than my clanking beige-and-gray POS.

    What’s this with the “unboxing experience”? If I buy some new electronic gadgetry, and it’s super cool, it doesn’t matter what it came in. If my awesome new 30″ LCD monitor came in a burlap sack, I’d still enjoy using it just as much. Besides, who wants to be emotionally attached to their things?

  • paul merrill

    gravatarSep 24, 2007
    1:56 pm

    It looks very cool, but you paid a LOT for that coolness. I bought a great Epson for about $50 that does it all but looks like an ugly dog. My Epson also uses generic ink – WAY cheaper than my wife’s HP that only uses HP carts.

  • Patrick Au-Yeung

    gravatarSep 25, 2007
    9:40 pm

    i was eyeing this printer as well when it came out, but as your review points out, its lack of wireless scanner sharing is a huge bummer. thanks for being the genuie pig. i’ll keep searching. hope you’re doing well at dddo.

  • Marius

    gravatarSep 26, 2007
    8:33 pm

    for this much money, you can get more bang for you buck. Personally, it looks alright, but it could be much better. Thanks for posting more pics, I was going crazy trying to find more than what was posted on gizmodo.

  • heather

    gravatarSep 27, 2007
    9:43 pm

    yes its pretty in a 80s blade runner sort of way but when u compare the specs,as far as scanning etc the canon 610 is a better buy 4 your $$$$$

  • Jay

    gravatarSep 29, 2007
    9:26 pm

    eeehhhh … I just bought a sumsung just like that but it’s all tan and business office like. It cost a bit more but does all the same thing, I was looking for a basic scanner, laser printer and copier … but mine works fine, I guess it’s true once you buy computer stuff, new stuff comes out after it alittle better.

    Enjoy!

  • Chanpory

    gravatarSep 30, 2007
    7:34 pm

    @Jon, you might disagree with me, but anyone designing products and services must try to connect to people in an emotional way. That’s why Mac users “love their computers and why Mini Cooper owners are so devoted. They’re expensive, yet people still buy and stand by them. Why? Because they foster an emotional experience.

    The problem with Samsung, is that unlike Apple, the entire experience–from marketing to packaging to product design to service design–is not considered as a whole. Besides its looks, the printer isn’t any different from any other one. Its creates no loyalty. Once a better looking printer comes out with more featurs and a cheapter price, it’ll be easy to ditch.

  • heather

    gravatarOct 5, 2007
    2:22 pm

    ok it still looks cool..but for a hundred less,you get a canon with better specs and scanning ability…looks over power can be a difficult decision,but i need the power for pretty scans.

  • Joel D

    gravatarOct 10, 2007
    1:00 pm

    Where exactly are you supposed to be able to buy replacement toner cartridges for this thing, how much do they cost, and how long do they last? I can’t see them on Apples’s store, or anywhere else for that matter.

  • libray

    gravatarNov 27, 2007
    12:09 am

    This is not a cheap ink-jet that you will have to buy cartridges for every two months, but rather a laser multifunction. Laser printers use toner that last 1000s of pages (the Samsung is rated at ~2000 pages) versus the 2-300 pages you get per black cartridge of an ink-jet.

  • John

    gravatarMar 12, 2008
    7:31 am

    I think Now Samsung SCX-4500 got more cheaper.. im going for this printer..

  • Rebecca

    gravatarApr 29, 2008
    5:57 am

    Ive spent ages trying to find out the limitations of the “paper catch-ing” design since it’s been marketed without leaving the slightest inkling that it exists!

    Thanks for the review!

  • Herb

    gravatarApr 10, 2009
    12:16 pm

    I have this printer and love it. I have it hooked to my airport and scan wirelessly no problem.

  • Ollie

    gravatarJun 11, 2009
    11:41 am

    “I have this printer and love it. I have it hooked to my airport and scan wirelessly no problem.”

    How? Please share, the scanning software won’t detect the machine at all (even though it prints fine, and even if I manually feed an IP address to the setup dialog…)

  • Samsung Toners

    gravatarAug 11, 2009
    4:09 pm

    At Joel D,

    you might want to check out. http://www.tonerboss.com for compatible replacement ink for Samsung Printers just like Samsung SCX-4500.

    Great review!