Samsung ML-6510ND mono laser printer review

Fastest mono laser on sale for small and medium-sized offices
Photo of Samsung ML-6510ND mono laser printer
£750

Samsung has been busy trying to dominate the printer market with budget models aplenty – and helping introduce laser printing to the masses. The ML-6510ND is at the vanguard with a great value, super-fast package that will serve offices well.

Aimed more at medium-to-large-sized offices rather than home users, this black and white-only model is unlike its siblings at Samsung in that its footprint is huge: the 464x420x540mm (whd) ML-6510ND isn’t destined for a place beside your PC, that’s for sure.

Weighing in at an astonishing 36kg, we had to haul it into place for our review. We’re glad we did – it’s awesome.

Claimed to be the fastest laser printer on sale at a stunning 62ppm, aesthetically the ML-6510ND is nothing special. Grey plastic is all it has got, though it’s a particularly tough build – and the lined design is actually quite eye-catching in an understated way.

Elsewhere it’s over-specified, if anything. It can store a massive 3,660 sheets of paper (and deal in thicknesses from standard 80gsm to speciality 220gsm) in a total of four trays.

The ML-6510ND has a duplex modulator built-in, which is great news for those after a printer to produce long documents in creative formats. Using the Samsung printer driver settings it’s a cinch to print documents in all types of formats, including in double-sided booklet form.

Eco-friendly
The ML-6510ND uses a universal printer driver that is common to all current Samsung printers, which does make it easier from an IT support point of view. We tested it with a netbook running Windows 7, a laptop using its dreaded predecessor, Windows Vista, and an iMac. All were easy to set up, and quickly found the ML-6510ND on our network via its gigabit LAN connection.

Although this printer does include a handy USB port on its front, it’s not quite as useful as it should be. In our tests only PDF documents were recognised, and were relatively slow to print compared to documents sent over the network. Slowly recognising a USB stick when inserted, the printer flashes up a message along the lines of ‘do you want to print from USB?’. If you accidentally answer ‘no’, wait more than a few seconds, or you happen to choose a document that the machine won’t recognise, it suddenly exits USB mode – and there’s no way back. A dedicated USB button is badly needed to bring this feature to life. A final gripe would be that once a file has been printed from USB, the ML-6510ND returns to the root file system of the USB stick rather than folder in use.

USB functionality is a decent enough security issue if you’re afraid of prying eyes around the office, but the ML-6510ND also offers PIN code protection. When printing, you simply enter four digits on the computer you’re printing from, and repeat the same code on the ML-6510ND’s numeric keypad to initiate printing while you stand over it. Kinda takes the fun out of working in an office, though like every other aspect of the supplied Easy print manager software, it’s easy to set up.

Performance
The ML-6510ND is all about speed and value. Equipped with a four-line LCD screen, a blue backlit-directional dial and a 700MHz dual-core CPU, the ML-6510ND is a fast worker even before we started counting its output speeds.

The samsung is fast, but the 62ppm rating from Samsung is over-egging it a tad. It’s also loud. The chief reason for both attributes is warm-up times. Although the entire ML-6510ND appears to go into standby mode mere seconds after each print run – a laudable feature in itself – it does take around 20 seconds to initialise and another 50 seconds to ‘warm-up’. Crank-up, more like – sit too close and it sounds like a boiling kettle.

Once it’s in full-swing and performing bigger jobs, it’s seriously fast; a 10-page document finished printing in 51 seconds from a USB stick, though a 40-pager from a PC took just over a minute – we calculated the average from a few jobs to be 40.24ppm. Remarkable, duplex printing makes little difference to the overall output speed.

Crucially, the print quality is excellent, with accurate, sharp 1,200dpi output from both pictures, charts and text – though subtly different areas of greyscale have a habit of blurring into one another. There’s also a one-button Eco mode that automatically prints two pages per side, as well as double-sided.

Samsung ML-6510ND toner cartridge

That will help the yield, which is already impressive. Samsung sells both standard MLT-D309S/ELS, and high-yield MLT-D309L/ELS toner cartridges. The former is quoted at 10,000 pages, the latter at 30,000, and they sell at around £110 and £171 respectively – producing per-page costs of around 1.1p and 0.57p, respectively.

Company: Samsung

Website: http://www.samsung.com/uk

Contact: Samsung on 0845 67267864

Positives
  • Fast with decent print quality; Eco mode; duplex printing; easy to configure.
Negative
  • Printing from USB is inconsistent; loud; bulky.

Verdict

Ideal for productive workgroups in an office setting, the remarkably versatile ML-6510ND is terrifically fast (though not as quick as its maker states) and in our tests, completely error-free even in creative and duplex printing modes. It's easy to set-up and operate, it's fast, and it's cheap to run. A few caveats aside (chiefly noise), there's a lot to like about Samsung's flagship mono laser printer.