Monochrome laser printers are quite popular among small offices and organizations, as they provide users with quick, efficient and good quality prints. While they might not have the same amount of detail or features as the expensive ones, they do offer value-for-money prints, which is a key facet for an organization requiring to print several sheets throughout the day. Samsung recently launched its ML-2951ND series of monochrome laser printers. We got one in our labs and we put it to test. Read on to find out how it fared.

From the front

From the front

Design and Build Quality

Grey and uninspiring are two words that might describe this printer. It looks like one of those devices that might be catching dust at the back of your office. But guess what, at least it’s not yellow or purple! To us at least, it looked dapper in that grey outfit, with the grills on the side and the flaps only adding to the look. This one is professional, conservative and classy. It’s got a boxy design, but a pretty tiny footprint, so you’ll have plenty of space to clutter your workspace with other stuff.

Here's a quick tour of the printer. The top consists of power ON button, the Cancel button, the demo page button, an Eco mode button and two LEDs – the first one shows the status of the machine and the second shows the status of the toner. The back consists of the LAN port, the USB connector and the power cord.

A complete grey outfit

A complete grey outfit

The output tray is located at the top, alongside the control panel buttons. The front consists of the cover, to input the cartridge and there’s a paper level indicator located at the bottom, next to the first tray. There’s a manual feeder above it as well. The back consists of the last flap that is a paper width guide on a manual feeder.

At 7.2 kg, it’s definitely lighter than the Epson photo printer, which we reviewed recently. This monochrome printer has a quite a bit of plastic in its build, and it may come off as little flimsy, but considering it’s going to just sit out there minding it’s own business, we don’t see too much of an issue.

A manual feeder and a feeder tray

A manual feeder and a feeder tray

Features

The printer is powered by a 533 MHz processor with 64 MB of storage, which is pretty much adequate for your network printing needs. The printer is capable of printing at a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi and has PCL6 / 5e and SPL emulation. It supports a wide variety of media formats, including A4, A5, A6, Letter, Legal, Executive, ISO B5, JIS B5, Envelope and Postcard. A good variety of media types are supported as well, which include Cotton, Recycled, Bond, Thick, Envelopes, Cardstock and Transparent.

A small footprint

A small footprint

According to Samsung, the printer can print up to 28 papers per minute in A4 and 29 letter papers per minute. It’s got a first print out time of less than 8.5 seconds from ready mode. We’ve put that to test in our performance section. Installation of the single cartridge is easy. Flap out, cartridge out. Paper placement is pretty easy as well and the printer has been designed keeping speed and efficiency in mind.

Setting up the printer is fairly easy. Plug-in the cords, insert the driver CD and the program will guide you through the process. We did require some tinkering around, though, to activate the network printing feature. Here’s a screenshot of the functions that you can see via the web interface.

Ink levels and other details

Ink levels and other details

Performance

Like always, we ran a series of tests on this laser printer to gauge its responsiveness, accuracy and speed of printing. It’s intended to be the super fast printer that gets you your print outs in a jiffy. But does it hold true to that promise? Read on, because you’ll be as impressed as we were, with the scores.

The printer has a warm up time of about 5 seconds. It’s got two modes, best and normal. Under the ‘normal’ mode, the printer took 8 seconds to deliver a print with different text sizes whereas it took 9 seconds in the ‘best’ mode with barely any noticeable difference in quality. A full page with text filled took 10 seconds to print, which is definitely impressive. Moving on, we got 10 pages filled with text in 33 seconds, with an average of roughly 3 seconds per print. 20 pages took 53 seconds, bringing down the average by a few notches.

A complete grey outfit

A complete grey outfit

For mass printing or printing of documents, PDFs or letters, this printer is super quick and efficient. We also tried black and white image printing, and guess what, all of 7 seconds is what the printer took to get us our image on paper. In terms of quality as well, it was quite decent with well filled blacks and neatly classified gradient between different tones from black to white. There was minute horizontal lining, which was more visible along the lighter shades, so that’s a tradeoff you’ll have to adjust with.

Okay, so it’s brilliantly fast. We got that. But, is it as quiet in finishing off its work? Not really. It makes quite a bit of noise during both, warming up and printing. If you’re keeping it in a silent room, you’ll almost definitely notice it working in the background, but if there’s quite a bit of hustle around you, you won’t notice its presence.

Worth a buy?

Worth a buy?

Verdict

The Samsung ML-2951ND is priced at Rs.12,750 (MOP). This isn’t your normal home printer. If you’re going to use it for your work needs, i.e. to print documents, documents and more documents, then this one fits the bill. It’s designed to be fast and efficient, while still not compromising on quality.

Think Speedy Gonzalves in black and white. A monochromatic Road runner. And the Samsung ML-2951ND. Definitely a worthy buy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,