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Samsung ML-1750

This is a very neat little printer, with a small footprint made to look yet smaller by a half hidden bulge at the back. It's modern, rounded lines are functional and unfussy, but it still has most of the key features of a small-format laser printer.

A 250 sheet paper tray slides in at the front and paper feeds from this to exit onto the printer's top surface. Directly above the tray is a single-sheet, multi-purpose slot, for special media and envelopes, which is reasonably easy-to-use, though it has no support for the paper you feed in.

The front face of the printer hinges down for access to the integral drum and toner unit, which is very easy to install and replace. A cover at the rear of the printer gives access to clear any paper jams and a small flip-up support at the front deals with any awkward paper types.

There are just two LEDs and a single button controlling the ML-1750, providing on line/error and toner save indications. Pressing the dual-function button either cancels the current print job or switches in the toner-save economy mode, which prints lighter but can save up to 47 per cent of your consumables, according to Samsung.

Both parallel and USB 2.0 connections are supported, though there's no option for network connection or duplexing.

The driver software installs easily enough, though through no fault of our own we managed to get two installations of the driver and were unable to uninstall the second without repeating the full installation.

The driver offers all the basics, including four different page impositions, a facility to reduce and enlarge pages and a simple control for reversing the page order of a document. The printer supports both watermarks and overlays and you can save groups of settings for quick, automated setups.

The ML-1750 is only rated at 16 pages per minute, so it was perhaps not surprising it was the slowest printer in this group. The 20 page text document took just under one and a half minutes to complete and the five page mixed text and graphics page took nearly half a minute. In this context, the five by three inch photo print at the printer's top ‘1200dpi class’ resolution (still actually 600dpi), was quick at just 12 seconds.

Although one of the smallest and cheapest printers in the group, the greyscale output from this printer was reasonable, though with some noticeable banding in areas of graduated tone. The text and graphics page produced clean tints with only slight banding and text quality was again clean, though perhaps not quite as densely black as from some of the more expensive printers.

The sound level measured from the ML-1750 was in the same range as most of the others and peaked at around 60dBA. The sounds were less intrusive than from some others, but it would still be awkward to talk on the phone near to the printer while it was busy.

The all-in-one drum and toner cartridge can produce 3,000 pages at five per cent cover and typically costs around £66. This gives a cost per page of 2.8p, which puts it at the high-end for total cost of ownership. It's cheaper to buy than all but the Canon LBP3200 though, and may sway some prospective purchasers, particularly those who expect a low duty cycle.

Verdict

This is a neat, well-designed laser printer, but is perhaps better suited to a small home business than to a workgroup in an office environment, where its lack of expandability counts against it.

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