Most low-priced color lasers are big disappointments: slow, with mediocre color images and costly toner prices. The Samsung Printer XPress C410W rises above some of the stereotypes, offering impressively good print quality and decently priced black toner. However, its color toners are costly, and print performance is agonizingly slow. Its ability to print via near-field communication (NFC) is interesting, though still somewhat niche. Call it an adequate low-volume printer for the home or small office, with a couple of bonus features.
Typical low-end color laser in most respects
Physically, there's not a lot to talk about with the XPress C410W. It's your standard, boxy laser printer that's been with us since the first HP Laserjet. There's a 150-sheet paper cassette at the bottom of the unit and a 50-sheet output tray integrated into the top. The front panel folds down to reveal the four svelte toner cartridges and other replaceable parts. There's no automatic duplexer. Dialog boxes coach you through manual two-sided printing. The controls on top of the XPress C410W are simple and easy to use. The printer may be connected via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or USB so you can place it wherever you see fit.
It took me a while to get the NFC printing to work--basically because I didn't read the manual, which instructs you to match the tag on the back of your mobile device with the tag on the top of the printer. The lab guys got quite the kick out of my tapping manically everywhere except where I should have been.
Obviously, you must have a mobile device capable of NFC (Samsung provided a Galaxy SIII). Match tags, select what you want to print, match the tags again, and you're golden. How often you'll be standing next to a printer to match tags is questionable. Most of the time, printing via Wi-Fi will be more useful.
Color toner is costly
Whether the XPress C410W's pricey toner costs will ever catch up with you depends on how much you print. The cartridges don't last long--just 2,000 pages for black and 1,000 pages for each color. Samsung was selling them for $63.99 (black) and $54.99 (each color) at this writing, which comes out to a good 3.2 cents per page for black and a pricey 5.5 cents per color, per page. A four-color page would cost 19.7 cents. We saw lower prices for the same cartridges at other sources, so shopping around might save you a bit. This printer is designed for people who don't print much, so it could take you a while to get through even these modest-sized cartridges. Still, you're going to feel it when you re-supply--and that will be soon, as the Xpress C410W ships with 700-page black, and 500-page color starter cartridges.
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