Samsung ML-1630 Monochrome Laser Printer Review
Continuing the trend of stylish and sensible designs offered at Samsung, they have created the world’s slimmest monochrome laser printer dubbed the Samsung ML-1630.
Traditionally one of the reasons that have kept most people away from having a laser printer has got to be the footprint factor. Most laser printers are big, chunky, heavy, and take up easily a good portion of desk space. That is why inkjet printers have been popular for most folks as they provide a smaller footprint. Well forget about all that nonsense because Samsung has created a monochrome laser printer that tries to change all those perceptions.
Advantages that lasers have over inkjets are print quality, speed and toner life. Generally, laser printers offer better quality b/w text prints as compared to their counterparts (to my knowledge if you like to print images in color, stick with inkjet) and print faster per minute, although inkjets are slowly bridging the gap in terms of speed. Be careful when comparing ppm numbers of lasers and inkjets because some manufactures like to base numbers off of printing in lowest quality draft mode making their products look faster than it really is.
And we all know if you have a small business or simply just print tons of pages that the life of the ink source is a major factor because it relates directly to your cost over time. Simply put laser printers generally yield you larger amounts of pages on just one toner cartridge. Typical laser toners will yield you anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 pages from just one toner that costs a little bit more than inkjet cartridges. Inkjets on the other hand will yield you around maybe 300-500 pages before it needs replacing. Thinking long term is always a good idea and having an inkjet will probably cost you twice as much to run compared to the laser printer.
The Samsung ML-1630 can print up to 17ppm compared to the rated 20ppm on my Brother HL-2040 and has 8MB of memory which is fine for most of us. If you need more memory than you are out of luck as it is not upgradeable for the ML-1630.
The printer is advertised as being quiet compared to normal lasers with a operation rating of less than 45dBA which is certainly possible. The ML-1630 is definitely quieter than my Brother unit and to others I’ve come across.
In terms of resolution the ML-1630 can do up to 1200x600dpi whereas my Brother HL-2040 unit can do up to 2400x600dpi so there isn’t much headroom with the Samsung.
First Impressions and overall thoughts
The Samsung ML-1630 comes in an attractive corrugated box which looks really fancy and attracts attention in the stores. Opening the box will reveal the Samsung ML-1630 printer, toner cartridge, quick install guide, CD with driver/software, power cable, and a plastic snap-on paper catcher.
I’ve got to point out first hand that the paper catcher really should have been integrated and full size because your floor can become the paper catcher. I mean a plastic clear attachment on shiny black object makes it stick out like a sore thumb. The paper catcher really kills the whole sleek look.
I’ve also got to point out that the printer is dead gorgeous. Its glossy black plastic looks sleek and wonderful to stare at; it almost doesn’t even look like a printer. The printer is very minimalistic as it essentially has three buttons; power switch at the rear and two sensitive touch buttons on the top.
The toner cartridge installation is a snap and very simple. Simply lift up the top and insert the toner contacts down. There are instructions on the unit itself but is not needed. It is very simple to get this printer up and running very quickly.
Now making the world’s smallest laser printer (according to Samsung) threes obviously going to be some compromises. It is evident in the paper capacity. The Samsung ML-1630 can only hold 100 sheets of paper which really sucks if you’re printing lots of things. Compared to my Brother HL-2040 laser which can hold 250 sheets (which seems to be the norm) needless to say you will be replacing paper rather quickly.
Turning on the printer for the first time, you will be presented with funny little tones and melodies. After noticing these sounds, you’ll notice the blue LED indicator panel on the front. This indicator is mostly for show as during warm up the indicator displays something as a wave and during printing acts as a page print counter. It also displays an arrow pointing to a paper symbol which tells you the paper tray is empty. For example, if you print 5 pages at one time the counter will rise from 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. I’ve noticed that there really isn’t any use for this but Samsung has used it simply for being cool.
Warm up takes about 13 seconds compared to 16 seconds on the Brother HL-2040. It takes about 6 seconds from the point of pressing print for job to start with images slowing print times by a couple of seconds.
Using the Samsung ML-1630 for a couple of weeks now made me realize that it’s actually not bad as a simple starter laser printer. What I mean is if you want to upgrade from an inkjet, the Samsung ML-1630 may be good option to consider. If you constantly print many pages then the paper capacity is a severe limitation and probably need to consider another printer model.
Printing at the highest quality of 1200x600dpi produced good text quality even down to 5pt font but my Brother HL-2040 even when printing at 1200x600dpi did better than the Samsung. The brother had less jaggies around letters and with straighter lines compared to the Samsung.
Images are not the strongest strengths for any common black and white laser printer. I’m not sure how well color lasers print but with the ML-1630 image print quality I would say is decent at best. It is pixilated, and a little bit blurry. You’re better off sticking to inkjets if you print images and leave the text with laser printers.
The only other problem I’ve experienced with the ML-1630 is the very weird problem of sometimes having the print come out blurry and garbled. I’m not sure if it’s only with this demo unit but I’ve noticed sometimes it seems to happen only during starting up for the first time, and printing a PDF’s. It would happen from time to time but sometimes not at all. So I am at a loss of words to way this happens. I’ve included pictures in the gallery so check it out to see what I am talking about.
The Samsung ML-1630 laser printer is a good laser printer. It’s very stylish, quiet and prints relatively quickly. It may not be the best on the market for its price range but if you can find a deal that places the ML-1630 at around $100; it’s a good option to consider.
Pros and Cons