Product Review: Samsung laser printer


15 Apr 2008

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In the gadget family, printers are seen as the boring uncle who talks in a monotonous voice about how Tayto cost 2p when he was a lad.

So it’s inevitable that buying a new one to meet your business needs can seem like an unsavoury task – but what if your office printer looked like it had been designed by Darth Vader from Star Wars?

The new ML1630 from Samsung is a desktop monochrome laser printer and is definitely a city slicker compared to its country cousin, the standard printer.

It is seriously slick: all black gloss, slimline and angular with a super cool, blue LED display that hides beneath the surface.

On a more practical note, laser printers are an essential purchase for any business and can range from full-colour standalones to the compact monochrome.

Black and white laser printers are the office workhorse and need to print often and print fast. If you are an SME owner/manager, you often need to be budget conscious while making sure these entry-level printers do an adequate job.

This Samsung printer fits the budget and the purposes of a home office or a small business, fitting in well with any modern business or office space.

When I had unboxed the printer, I noticed that although it required a USB cable to connect to the PC, there wasn’t one included – a bit annoying but it is a standard cable so I had one lying around.

Somehow though, I had expected the Samsung to have wireless functionality. The futuristic, blue LED display made me think it would Bluetooth print jobs from your desktop or laptop, alas no.

However, I had no complaints with its function as a black and white printer – it was very nippy and there was no smudging or blurring. Obviously, printing photographs has its limitations but I tested a high-resolution image of a mobile phone and found it did a decent job.

Settings can be adjusted to bring up the greyscale of the image – in other words, the colour in the picture will be represented as best as possible in thousands of shades of grey.

The Samsung has a maximum resolution of 1200dpi (dots per inch), which is the standard quality for a black and white laser model. However, if you take a closer look at photographs printed in this detail, you will be able to see tiny dots so don’t bother using it for any black and white pictures you intend to frame.

While this front-loading Samsung is compatible with Apple Macs and Linux-based computers as well as Windows PCs, there are some functions which will only work with a Windows machine, such as water marking and poster printing.

One unique feature of this design-conscious device is that it claims to be silent. Well actually, it defines silent as 45 decibels or below. And while it certainly isn’t completely silent, it is definitely the least noisy printer I have ever used.

You could leave it to tackle a hefty print job in the background as you have a phone conversation and it would most certainly not interfere.

You could definitely get a monochrome laser printer that does the same job for less than the Samsung’s price tag of €249 but you won’t get one that looks as good.

This is the Jackie O of printers, making a statement with its style but remaining unassuming.

The ML1630 Samsung desktop printer can be bought at Oltech Systems, Dublin.

Pros: Quiet and stylish
Cons: Photo prints look basic
Price: €250

By Marie Boran