Even if your pockets are shallow, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have quality black print from a budget laser printer. Samsung’s ML-1665 comes in at under £80 and provides the basic print functions for home and home office.
This is a small, black box, designed to be closed up when not in use and to take up very little space on the desk. However, you still need the room to open the printer before you start printing.
The front cover folds down to become a 150-sheet paper feed tray and has an adjustable paper stop to hold the feed stack in place. Each page feeds up and onto the top of the printer, where the top cover folds out to become the output tray. To the right of the output tray is a simple control panel with two led indicators – between them showing power, incoming data and error conditions – and two control buttons.
One of these control buttons is for power and the other is for screen prints. The screen print function is still unique to Samsung lasers, though other makers must be considering it by now. It does what it says; with a single press, it prints whatever is currently on the screen of the PC or Mac attached to the machine. This is a quick and simple way of recording interesting pages or Web transactions, though it might be more intuitive to have a keyboard key assigned to screen print than have a physical button on the printer.
There's a single-piece drum and toner cartridge for the ML-1665, which slots in under the surround to the top cover, after it's folded out of the way. This is a very simple procedure and anybody should be able to achieve it in a couple of minutes.
The cartridge is only available in one capacity, 1,500 ISO pages, which, although low, is a reasonable yield for a cartridge in a printer intended for the home. The ISO standard specifies roughly five per cent toner cover per page, though, so if most of your pages are report-length rather than simple correspondence, you may find you get fewer pages than this from each cartridge.
At the back of the printer is a single USB socket, and this is the only data connection. Samsung supports Windows and OS X and drivers for Linux are also available. The driver is well-endowed for a budget printer, offering multiple pages per sheet and watermarks, as well as guidance for manual duplexing.