Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2010-05-26

Linux and the Samsung SCX-4828FN multifunction printer

I have a Samsung SCX-4828FN printer/fax/­copier/scanner, and use it with linux and BSD. (Update: I've a follow-up posting about the printer.)

The printer is fine for black and white text, such as I usually print: Fast, crisp text with fine edges, nicely readable. Duplex printing just works. The printer can print quite close to the paper's edge, too.

On the negative side, a grayscale photograph didn't come out as well as on my previous HP laser. The printable area isn't the same on both sits of the paper (why?), so it's difficult to print something on both sides of the paper and cut it precisely to size. Some downloaded fonts are rendered with bad interletter spacing.

Copying is also fast and precise. Faxing just works. There is a duplex print option for receiving faxes.

I haven't tried scanning yet. As far as I can tell sane has no support for this scanner. Scanning to email is a good enough workaround, but I think I'll play around with this later and see if I can scan in a better way. (Update: Scanning to email produces fax-like image quality.)

Configuration via the front panel isn't great; configuration via the built-in HTTP server is fine. The default configuration works (it obtains an address via DHCP and accepts print jobs from everyone).

There is no IPv6 support! Samsung uses much open source software for the printer (netbsd, jpeg, libtiff, expat, openssl, gcc, cups, at least a dozen others) and both of the other printers I considered do support IPv6, so they must have disabled it on purpose. Very strange, considering that the IANA is expected to run out of IPv4 addresses in 14 months. Perhaps Samsung plans to drop this model soon?

As to feel, the printer is about as solid as one can expect in this price class. The front panel works. I do wish they had placed less emphasis on fancy-looking buttons and more on pleasant-feeling ones, though.

It is a little deeper than I thought it would be. If you want to put it on a shelf, the shelf should be at least 42cm deep, and you need 61cm space up to the next shelf above.

The printer smells a bit more than I expected. The dealer assures me that it'll stop smelling after the first week. It does smell less today (its second day) than it did on its first day. (Update: The smell is gone.)

Finally, I couldn't read the manual CD. The CD appeared to be empty. However, the manuals are available for download.