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Printers

Samsung CLP-300: Honey I shrunk the colour laser printer

We take what could well be the planet's smallest colour laser printer for a spin to see whether size really does matter

Yesterday we went hands-on with the Samsung CLP-300 -- which claims to be the world's smallest colour laser printer. Its 390mm by 260mm by 340mm dimensions may not sound impressive on paper, but it's pretty svelte in comparison to the oven-sized Samsung CLP-500.

Let's put it this way: you cannot, we repeat, cannot carry a colour laser printer further than a couple of metres. Not unless you're doped up on steroids and have a titanium endoskeleton. You can't really install one in your home, either -- unless you've got a dedicated office space -- because these things are usually huge.

The CLP-300 impressed us because it is the size of a normal mono laser, or a slightly chubby inkjet. It weighs just 13.6kg so it's reasonably portable -- you can move it from room to room, or lug it to the car without risk of a hernia.

One of our favourite things about the printer is the way the toner cartridges are loaded. Replacement toner comes in the form of cylindrical cartridges that slide directly into the front of the unit -- it all feels very Star Trek. Replacement cyan, magenta and yellow toner cartridges cost £20 each and are good for 1,000 pages, while the larger black toner costs £40 and is good for 2,000 pages.

The CLP-300 spits out 4 colour pages per minute and 17 mono pages per minute. Print quality is good, too. Like many colour lasers it has a slight issue with dithering (speckly bits in colour pictures), but it's fine for producing colour brochures, which look fairly professional on initial inspection.

The printer itself costs just £179 -- a bargain if you ask us. It's available in stores now. -RR

Update: A full review of the Samsung CLP-300 is now live.