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In the nineties, laser printers were an asset for the elite few in the home office. Traditionally, laser printers have been primarily for business use and most homes use the standard inkjet printers. Laser printers were far too big and bulky, and also too costly for the home office, in contrast inkjets were light, compact and cheap, perfect for home use. Now, however the scene is changing, and its thanks to printer likes this (The samsung ML 1510.) The Samsung ML 1510 is one of the cheapest laser printers yet, and its also one of the smallest, making it a perfect solution to black and white printing in the home office.
------- Price -------
In the late nineties, a standard black and white laser printer would easily cost in the region of £200, however as the technology is becoming more widely available, and cheaper to produce the cost of production of the printers is decling. And, as with everything after a while, prizes begin to decline as the product reaches its maturity stage and all the people who could afford it in the first place already have one. Its the art of price skimming, reducing prices over time so that products are attractive to different market segments, and it happens with all durable goods, televisions, TFT monitors, MP3 players, etc. Price skimming is clearly evident with Laser printers, however to an incredible extent which means you can now purchase a laser printer for just £49.99, yes just £49.99. Admittedly, it wasn't this price when I bought the printer. It's been out since about January this year, and I initially bought it from PC World priced at £79.99, however the PC World price is now just £49.99, wait till christmas and who knows...it might be another thirty quid cheaper. The point is however, that for £50 you can get a black and white laser printer, which is cheaper than many inkjets. Yes, it is only black and white however colour lasers are still up there with the high prices, give it a few years though and the prices of colour lasers are going to begin to slowly decline.
---------- Quality ----------
One thing laser printers are renown for is their better quality over inkjets. If you print a page of black text from an inkjet printer, essentially you get a page full of tiny pigments of black ink, commonly known as pixels. If you print a page of black text from a laser printer, it still uses a pixel base form of printing however instead appears as solid black text, you can't make out the dots or pixels, as with inkjet printers. Essentially, the laser printer is the same mechanism and printing style as a photocopier so one can imagine the quality. The only problem is when the toner begins to get lower, large white bands may appear in the text, which is slightly annoying, however provided that you keep your toner levels above minimum then you'll have no troubles.
--------- Speed ---------
Yet another advantage of laser printers over inkjets is the speed. The paper simply feeds through and comes out complete, again similiar to photocopiers. The speed of the ML 1510 is pretty average for laser printers, at around 15 ppm at reasonable quality. Many laser printers fail to offer this at speeds of around 10ppm, however many exceed this at up to 30 ppm. However, don't be fooled, it depends very much upon the quality settings.
Laser printers use toners as opposed to catridges, its simply a powder based printing method as opposed to water based inks. Toner for the ML 1510 cost about £20 each and these will print well in excess of 5,000 pages each. You can also use the samsung toner saving application which supposedly reduces toner usage by up to 40%. But such modes really only be applicable to businesses, as im sure 5,000 print outs will be well enough for home use, you'll find yourself replacing the toner catridge little more than once a year. Another thing to consider with laser printers, is the drum unit. Drums need to be replaced every 20,000 or so pages, and cost more than the printer itself in some circumstances. I've never had to buy a new drum for the samsung yet however you can expect them to be in the £30 - £50 price range.
---------- Design ----------
One thing this particular printer prides itself on being, is the smallest printer in its class. Samsung have created the smallest laser printer, which makes it very compact and light, perfect for the home office. The design is similiar to most other laser printers, a pretty boring beige box, however Samsung have tried to liven it up a bit by adding a turqouise front which works to an extent, making it home user freindly.
The Samsung Ml 1510 is compatible with many operating systems, making it perfect for businesses. Firstly, its compatible with your standard Windows, but only more recent OS's including 98/Me/2000 and XP Home/Professional. Its also compatible with Macs, which should be expected as businesses tend to be replacing more and more PCs with macintosh systems these days! But its also compatible with the rarer operating system Linux, which many recent printers fail to do! It's the first printer I've had thats Linux compatible! All the software comes with the printer on CD so installation is easy.
---------------------- Value for Money ----------------------
Overall, in my opinion the Samsung ML 1510 offers excellent value for money, its very well priced yet still offers excellent quality, speeds and has its status as the worlds smallest laser printer to further enhance its image. This, along with other recent laser printers have made laser printing accessible to the home user as opposed to previously being renown as the heavy bulky high duty office printers which cost a fortune to buy. For such reasons and with no further ado, I can only reccommend the Samsung ML 1510 printer.
I'm dreading the day I have to replace the drum in my HP LaserJet 2550L - I bet it costs more than the £50 yours will!
cdavies1978 22.11.2004 21:22
I have to agree, the review makes this printer perfect... far too perfect!... i too have been looking for the £20 toner but with no avail... the review is very misleading as this person really does work for Samsung (or a designer for the company) as no way would anybody take their time to write such a long review without making not a tinny weeny little comment on the down sides of the worlds cheapest printer (brought one last week from Currys for £39.99)(bargain really!)
deborahkin 08.09.2004 01:34
This guy must work for Samsung!! This review sucks because I haven't seen the toner cartridges being sold on the net for under £43 and that doesn't include delivery! I don't know where he got his estimate of £20 from. Misleading!