Pros: Fast printing, excellent text quality, very reliable (really), not too noisy
Cons: Big, heavy, expensive replacement toner
I got this printer on sale for 350$ CAD, which is 100$ CAD less than the original retail price (well, in Quebec, at least). Not the best deal of the year, but still a pretty good price. And considering the fact that my inkjet color printer ''drank'' almost 300$ of ink per year, I decided that this Samsung, even if it only lasted 4 years (included toner should last for about 2,000 to 3,000 pages and I print 500 pages per year), should make me save money. A lot. And I expect it to last longer than that... I would even say that I do not plan to replace the toner at all. When it will be empty, I'll probably buy another printer... prices should have dropped a lot by that time.
So, I ordered it. Shipping was only 5$ CAD, which is pretty cheap, considering the weight of this unit, but there were some problems with my order. OK, it was all my fault, I made a mistake in the credit card billing information, but it delayed my order by a week (I had to call customer service, explain everything, etc etc). Not a big deal, I wasn't in a hurry. Oh and that's not Samsung's fault either, just so I'm not misunderstood. That was all between me and the store... Anyways, doesn't matter, I now have my printer, for a nice total price of 355$ CAD + tax.
Now was the time when the printer arrived. I would never have thought it would be so big. It was almost impossible to handle the box alone. Well, ''impossible'' is maybe too much but I would definitely say ''hard''. And when I took the printer out of the box, it didn't seem to be smaller, nor lighter. I should have read the specs more carefully : it weights more than 70 pounds once the 4 toner cartridges are in it... Anyways, I found some room for it, but now I can't reach the right side of it, which would be very important if there was a paper jam... but I've been using the printer for some weeks now, and I had absolutely no problem. Oh and also, I can't use the built-in duplex (also on the right side of the printer), so I won't be able to review this functionality which might be very useful for some people, but not for me. But there is a good point to this : as the printer is in a closet, it's almost always hidden. It's not an ugly printer, not at all, but, as I said in the title, it's not pretty stylish and it doesn't fit with my other electronic devices. But I know that stylish color laser printers are not very common, if not unexistant...
OK so then, once the printer was installed and everything correctly set up (nothing complicated; everything is explained in details in the included step-by-step guide), it was ready to print.
Again, I was surprised. The first page of a document takes quite long to print (that means more than 10 seconds - the ratings of 13 seconds for B&W and 21 seconds for color seem pretty accurate), because the printer need to heat up and to... well, I don't exactly know how it works but it kind of has to ''read'' what the computer sent it... Anyways, you will have to wait several seconds before the first page is printed. But that's not what surprised me, all laser printers do that. What surprised me is the speed of printing once the first page is out. It's just... super fast. I printed a 60-page document (I don't do that often, it was a coincidence that I had received my CLP-510 at that time) in less than 3 minutes, and 2 of the pages had color on it (speed is rated at 25 PPM for B&W, and 6 PPM for color). So, basically, this is very fast, at least for B&W. Color printing, however, and especially if it is complex, is much slower. But it still is faster than many inkjet printers for the same quality. That is the next important point : quality. Well, text is almost perfect. I don't see how it could be improved, it really looks professional-grade. Pictures, however, are not perfect. They look very good, sure, but they aren't photo-quality at all. The CLP-510 can print nice little pictures in documents, but not big full-page photos. Well, in fact, it can, but it won't look like a photo, as I said before. That job should be done by an inkjet printer, at maximum quality, on glossy photo paper.
So, overall, the Samsung CLP-510 prints excellent-looking text at an astonishing speed, and it also prints color, which won't be as good-looking as the B&W text. I would say that a picture printed by the CLP-510 looks like a picture printed by an inkjet printer, on normal paper, at regular quality. Without the problems caused by liquid ink, of course.
And also, I have to say that the printer is not too noisy for a color laser printer. As I said before, mine is in a closet. Well, if the doors are closed (but I'm not sure if it's OK to put a laser printer in a such a closed area, so I usually open the doors...), you will hear the printer, for sure, but not very loud. And even with the doors opened, it isn't disturbing, even if you're having a conversation. If you're listening to TV or music, you might not even notice the printer. I said ''might''.
Finally, as this printer didn't cause me any trouble (no paper jams or printing problems whatsoever), I would highly recommend it. However, be sure to have enough room for it and to have someone helping you to move this 70-pound unit, if you think you're not strong enough (if you have backpain, forget it!). Personally, I'm not sure I could bring it up/down a staircase... but I don't consider myself as being strong, don't worry. So overall, the Samsung CLP-510 is a great printer, but it's bulky.
UPDATE : The printer sometimes (but rarely) thinks it has a problem, while, in fact, everything is normal. The green light turns red (well... orange), and the printer states that there is a problem with a cartridge. However, turning the printer off then back on brings everything back to normal, as there was in fact never any problem... This might be a sensor problem, or maybe it simply is the software... anyways, it doesn't make it a bad printer, and I have in fact never had any ''real'' problem. Also, it is very unlikely that all CLP-510s will have this problem and my single unit might be the only one that will ever do something like this. I must also say that I have used the printer for some months now and that I never had to replace a cartridge. Print quality is still as great as it was, and I didn't have any of the problems usually found in laser printers (and I print several pages per week). My opinion about the printer still hasn't changed : for the price, it's as great as it can be.
UPDATE #2 : This printer is really reliable. It is still in a corner of my closet and has never moved. The only tray I need to open is the front one to load paper. And even though I need to load lots of paper (because I print a lot, not because the tray is too small), the original toner continues to deliver. Everything still looks as good as it did almost a year ago. Still no real problems. Seriously, I'm impressed. And finally, the unit doesn't look that bad... I guess I got used to it. I would still highly recommend it. Even better, the price must be lower than it was... if it is still sold? Anyway, very good printer.