Samsung started selling laser printers in the UK a couple of years ago and has carved itself a good niche in both the personal and business markets with its high-quality machines. The ML-1250 is at the lower end of its new range and is intended as a one-per-desk machine for printing text and graphics where colour isn’t essential.
The printer is sensibly designed, using a vertical feed system where paper feeds from a single A4 bin at the back to another positioned directly in front of the first. There’s a single sheet feeder in front of the source bin for special media and envelopes and an output slot which can be opened at the front of the printer if you want a more ‘straight-through’ paper path for thicker card.
Controls on the lip of the front feed bin switch on the toner-save function, cancel the current job, reprint the last page and print a demo page. This last function seems a waste of a button, but the reprint facility is useful, even though it only runs to a single page. There are indicators LEDs for error, paper out and data transfer.
The ML-1250 can be connected through parallel or USB connections – though no cables are provided for either interface. The controlling software, which emulates HP’s PCL6 language, installs without problem. The Windows control panel for the printer offers multiple pages per sheet and the printing of watermarks. You can print on both sides of the paper (duplexing), but only manually by reloading the page. Drivers for Linux and Mac OS are also supplied.
4MB of memory is supplied with the ML-1250, which is enough for general-purpose printing, but you can add more by plugging in standard SIMM modules under a cover in the printer’s base. The print speed is quoted as 12ppm but running a real-world test produced just over 8ppm – still impressive for a personal printer. No printed manual is supplied, though a detailed one is provided as a PDF file. One of your first tasks should be to print it out – it’s a shame Samsung feels it can afford to scrimp on this essential reference.
Another ‘innovation’ which Samsung has adopted is to supply a starter toner and drum cartridge, which prints just 1,000 sheets at 5% cover. Samsung is running a limited-time offer until March 2002, where you get a second starter cartridge free in the box, but how much better it would be to include the 2,500 sheet cartridge that’s sold as a standard consumable.
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