If you’re thinking that we’ve already reviewed this printer from Samsung before, then you’re mistaken. What this tells us, though, is that you’ve been reading our blog for a while now because you’re most probably confusing this device with one that we reviewed earlier – the Samsung M3820DW. While the similarity in models may confuse you, the Samsung M3870FW is different in core functionalities from the M3820DW.
You see, the Samsung M3870FW is a monochrome laser multifunction printer while the M3820DW is a monochrome laser single-function printer. This means that the M3870FW can print, copy, scan, and fax in black and white while the M3820DW can only print in black and white. Even if the print engine is similar and most other specs are familiar, the difference in functionalities has to be taken very seriously. Here’s our review of the Samsung M3870FW for you in case you’re considering a purchase in the near future.
Strengths of Samsung M3870FW
The Samsung M3870FW has been designed for the entire spectrum of small workgroups and businesses. This means that this device can be useful for small workgroups that print less to small workgroups that actually do heavy duty printing on a day in day out basis. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has made the Samsung M3870FW suitable for all types of small workgroups and businesses by simply offering options to expand paper capacity.
The standard variant of the Samsung M3870FW comes with a total paper capacity of 300 sheets which can be divided between a 250-sheet paper tray and a 50-sheet multipurpose tray. However, the total paper capacity can be expanded to 820 sheets with the addition of an optional paper tray worth 520 sheets. Along with good paper handling features, the OEM has also focused on other features that are critical for heavy-duty printing.
For example, the Samsung M3870FW has a maximum monthly duty cycle of about 80,000 sheets, which is huge because it translates to more than 2,600 pages per day. Furthermore, the print speed of the device is also in the upper echelons of the accepted print speed range for this market segment.
The M3870FW is rated for a maximum output speed of 38 pages per minute (ppm). This machine also offers multiple connectivity options, which is definitely a positive. You can start using this device by connecting to it through the provided USB 2.0 port, the Ethernet port or the wireless option. The USB port can be used to connect this device to the PC or you can even use it to print directly from a USB device. The Samsung M3870FW even supports mobile printing through the Samsung MobilePrint app. Moreover, Google Cloud Print is also supported. Other standard third party services may also be supported because the M3870FW is compatible with TWAIN standard and WIA standard protocols.
In case, wireless connectivity isn’t all that important for you, you will have the option to save some money by choosing a model without it. The Samsung M3870FD is identical to the M3870FW except for the fact that it doesn’t offer wireless connectivity. Opting out of the wireless feature will save you slightly more than $50.
Speaking of saving, the Samsung M3870FW comes with automatic duplexing, which is a handy feature to have if savings are important to you. By using this feature, you’ll be giving up on the print speed but you’ll be saving a pretty penny by reducing your paper costs by half. Automatic duplexing, in case you’re new to printing, means prints on both sides of the page.
Weaknesses of Samsung M3870FW
There are no big downsides to the Samsung M3870FW. There are only minor irritants or small flaws if you will. The first of these is the cost. The initial cost of the M3870FW falls in the middle of the spectrum of its class. It’s competing brands and models are both more expensive and cheaper, which means that the cost of this device is neither heart-warmingly low nor disastrously high.
The same is true for operational costs. There are multifunction printer models that are cheaper page by page and there are those that are more expensive. The Samsung M3870FW will cost you about 3.03 cents per page if you use genuine cartridges from Samsung. On the other hand, you can reduce this per-page cost to about 2.05 cents by using generic cartridges.
Another minor irritant is the absence of Wi-Fi Direct feature. Wi-Fi Direct is a feature that many modern printing devices boast of.
It allows mobile devices to directly connect to the printer without going through wires or the wireless network. The OEM has also placed the USB port at the back of this device which can cause trouble for those people who’re interested in using the aforementioned direct USB feature.
Key Features of Samsung M3870FW
The output quality of the Samsung M3870FW is decidedly in the middle of the spectrum as well. It is neither great nor poor. You can expect good text prints from this device and below par or at least unsatisfactory graphical and image output. The good text will be a result of the Rendering Engine for Clean Pages (ReCP) technology which sharpens the edges of the printed text by using edge resolution maximisation.
Even so, since no one buys a monochrome multifunction printer for its ability to print images and graphics, we figure this isn’t that big a bone to gnaw on for you. Formally, the Samsung M3870FW is rated for a maximum print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi). The device measures 469mm in width, 444.3mm in depth and 482.1mm in height so you shouldn’t plan to place it on your desk. Also, make sure you have two people around when you want to move the Samsung M3870FW because it weighs 17.07 Kg.
The M3870FW comes with a 600MHz processor and 256MB worth of inbuilt memory. The former is fixed but the latter can be upgraded to 512MB if needed. The combination of the print engine and print speed allows this device to print the first page out in 6.5 seconds, while the scanning features mean that the first copy can be generated in only 10 seconds. There is also a four-line LCD screen that displays print statuses for quick checks.
The Samsung M3870FW boasts of a number of other bells and whistles such as the SyncThru Admin, Secure Printing, and the Easy Printer Manager. The Admin is for central print usage control which allows user control and job accounting. Secure Printing offers three avenues of protection including document access, network access, and user access. Finally, the Easy Printer Manager allows for device or fleet remote management.