Unfortunately, one of the least used features on all-in-one multi-function printers and heavy duty copier/scanner/printer machines is the scan function because it's simply too complicated. If you're lucky, IT will set up your email account as a preconfigured setting and they'll teach you how to scan a document to your email inbox. If you're geeky enough to go and figure out how to key in your own email, then you might be one of the other two people in the building that uses the scan functionality. But most people simply keep paper copies and do everything the way they've always done it by making more copies and storing them in a file cabinet if they're organized enough. Well Samsung might actually change this with their direct to USB multi-function printers.
One of the features I've searched long and hard for is a scan-to-USB feature. I've asked representatives from Xerox and every other copier company that offers multi-function copiers with little luck. I've asked HP for this feature and no luck there either. But last week as I went through Samsung's CES booth, I thought I'd check out their color multifunction printers and I notice a nice little USB port in the front of them. The Samsung representative explained that the USB port can act as a print source or scan destination and I thought FINALLY we've made scanning easy.
The color multi-function printers in question are the Samsung CLX-3160 (pictured left) and the yet-to-be-released CLX-6200. Both devices can print an assortment of document types such as PDF, JPEG, TXT, etc directly from USB memory. Both devices can also scan documents and save them directly to the USB memory. This means that instead of trying to figure out how to configure an email destination which is difficult without a qwerty keyboard or figure out how to dump to a scan to a network file share, you simply dump the scan to USB. Now you just take those stacks of documents and shove it in the feeder and it will get digitized on to USB memory!
The difference between the Samsung CLX-6200 and CLX-3160 is that the 6200 can print all four colors at the same time whereas the 3160 does color one color at a time. This means that the 6200 prints color more than four times faster than the 3160 and it also prints black and white a little faster. The 6200 will also print full duplex two-sided output automatically which cuts down paper consumption in half if only people can be educated on using it. The 3160 is available now online for roughly $450. The 6200 will launch at the end of this quarter for $200 more than the 3160 and should be well worth the price as a workgroup all-in-one. Personally I wouldn't mind having one of these near my cubical.