The Samsung ProXpress M3320ND$216.91 at pcRUSH.commono laser is the sort of printer that doesn’t stand out in any way, but delivers a level of speed, output quality, and paper handling that lets it easily do the job it is meant for. That job is primarily to fill the shared-printer slot in a micro or small office with light- to medium-duty print needs, although the printer’s small size also makes it suitable for heavy-duty personal use.
The one potential issue for the M3320ND is that its direct competition includes the Editors’ Choice Brother HL-5450DN$189.99 at B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio. Usually with close competitors like these there are obvious tradeoffs, with one printer offering faster speed, say, and the other offering better output quality or better paper handling. With these two models, however, the M3320ND comes in tied or a close second in every important area. So although it’s a perfectly reasonable pick, there’s no stand-out feature that would make a compelling argument to choose it over the Brother HL-5450DN.
The biggest difference between the two printers is in their paper handling. Both offer a 250-sheet drawer and a built-in duplexer (for printing on both sides of the page) standard. The M3320ND also include a one-sheet manual feed. You can count that as a useful convenience, since it lets you print on a different paper stock without having to swap out the paper in the main tray, but it’s wimpy compared with the Brother printer’s 50-sheet multipurpose tray.
If you need more input capacity for the M3320ND, you can add a 520-sheet second drawer ($200 street), for a total of 770 sheets. Here again, however, Brother goes a little further, with a 500-sheet optional tray that boosts the capacity to 800 sheets. And that total still includes the multipurpose tray. Brother also sells a related model, the Brother HL-5470DW$260.01 at pcRUSH.com, which includes both the multipurpose tray and second drawer as standard, adds some other features as well, and costs less than the Brother HL-5450DN plus its optional second drawer.
Setup and Speed
Setting up the M3320ND is absolutely standard, with Ethernet and USB as the only connection choices. If you connect it to a network, you can also print to it through the cloud, thanks to its built-in support for Google Cloud Print. You can also print from a mobile device though a Wi-Fi access point on your network, using AirPrint or Samsung’s own mobile printing app. For my tests, I used a network connection and installed the drivers on a system running Windows Vista.
The engine rating for the M3320ND is 35 pages per minute (ppm), which is the speed you should see when printing text pages with little to no formatting. On our business applications suite (timed with QualityLogic’shardware and software), it came in at 11.3 ppm, which counts as a respectable speed for its price and engine rating. It’s also essentially tied with both the Brother HL-5450DN, at 10.8 ppm, and the HL-5470DW, at 10.7 ppm. (A 0.5 ppm difference isn’t statistically significant in this speed range.)
The M3320ND’s output quality is best described as acceptable for most business use, but well short of impressive. Text quality is at the low end of the range that includes the vast majority of mono lasers. You shouldn’t have any complaints about it for day-to-day business use, but it’s not suitable for more demanding applications, like high-quality desktop publishing.
Graphics output is a step below the level where most mono lasers fall, which translates to being good enough for any internal business need. If you don’t have too critical an eye, you may also consider it acceptable for PowerPoint handouts or the like. Photo quality is dead on par for a mono laser. That makes it suitable if you need to print recognizable images from photos in Web pages but not for anything more demanding than that.
The Samsung Printer ProXpress M3320ND is a perfectly capable mono laser printer that can easily be a good fit for a micro or small office. It’s not quite a match for the Brother HL-5450DN, it’s tied with it for speed, and it comes in a close second for output quality and paper handling. That certainly makes it a credible choice. If you can find it at a sufficiently lower price than the Brother printer, it might even be your preferred choice.
- Samsung Printer ProXpress M3320ND(pcmag.com)