Samsung CLP-310 review: Samsung CLP-310

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The Good Decent pricing. Small form factor.

The Bad No multifunction capability. Not terribly quick print speeds.

The Bottom Line You don't get blazingly fast laser speeds with the CLP-310, but it does live up to the hype of offering affordable colour laser in a small form factor.

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7.2 Overall

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Samsung employs a number of people who are exceptionally clever with rulers, pencils, CAD and the tensile strengths of plastics and metals to produce some very nice looking electronic equipment, from televisions to mobile phones and a whole lot more besides.

And then there's the CLP-310.

It's a colour laser printer that looks exactly like you'd imagine the early mockups for anyone's colour laser printer might look like, only a bit smaller. This might seem like idle complaining, but then Samsung is the company that gave us the very attractive ML-1630 Laser Printer. Presumably those design folks have moved on, and what we get is grey and ultimately very dull.

It might seem like an odd feature to kick things off with, but Samsung lists the small size of the CLP-310 as a selling point, and who are we to argue?

At 388 x 313 x 243mm it's certainly on the small side for a colour laser, although the claim that it's small enough to fit "comfortably on a corner of your home office desk or bookcase" is perhaps a touch optimistic. Unless you've got quite big bookshelves, presumably.

If there's a feature that most people associate with laser printers, it's speed. It's curious, then, that Samsung only rates the CLP-310 at a relatively sedate 16ppm for black prints and 4pmm for colour. It's quite possibly a lot more honest than many vendors — especially inkjet vendors, who seem to rate the ppm count at around the rate the printer can spit out blank paper — but it's also not a vote of confidence in what's meant to be one of laser's key selling points.

The CLP-310 connects via USB 2.0 only — there's no network port built in, although a tab of plastic on the back points to the potential for this particular chassis to accomodate one — and is a printer only. Those after a multifunction device will have to look elsewhere.