Those crazy guys at Samsung rate this machine at 24ppm, but as with so many manufacturers’ speed ratings, they appeared to be ignoring the processing time before printing starts. The machine uses Samsung's own page description language, SPL, and it takes quite a while for a page to be rendered before the data-receive light on the ML-2525 starts to flash.
We recorded processing times of up to 25 seconds and some of these were on single page jobs, when these involved both text and graphics. The print speed of the machine once it's started is commendably quick, particularly for a printer costing under £85. Add the two times together, though, and we saw speeds of 12.5ppm for our 5-page text print, increasing to 16ppm for the 20-page one.
Our 5-page text and graphics print returned 8.6ppm on both of our test runs, largely because of the long processing time. Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo print on A4 paper took 31 seconds, again with quite a bit of the time spent processing the image.
These speeds are still very worthwhile and beat similarly priced inkjet printers by a margin of up to 2:1. Mono laser print is still the high performance option for black print in the home.
The print quality is also a lot better than from typical inkjets, with black text looking almost stamped on the page. The 600 x 1200dpi enhanced resolution of this machine does a very good job of producing clean text, you'd be happy to give to any customer.
Greyscale graphics are also above average and there's very little sign of banding which can spoil fills on mono laser printers. There's not quite the range of greys from some other machines, which means that different hues in colour originals don't always get distinguishable shades of grey when printed.
Our photo print did show some slight patchiness in the main area of sky and was quite dark by default, so losing detail in shadowed areas of the image. Even so, it's not a bad effort for an entry-level mono laser.
There are two versions of the combined drum and toner cartridge, one good for 1,500 pages and the other for 2,500. Using the higher yield consumable gives a cost per page of 2.8p, including 0.7p for paper. This is a good cost in comparison with other entry-level lasers, around 0.2p per page less than the Aculaser M1200, for example, though that machine is even less expensive than the Samsung.
The ML-2525 is an excellent little mono laser, very neat on the desk, not costing the earth to run and producing very good quality print in the areas where it's likely to be used. While the print speed doesn't live up to the maker’s specification, it's still more than adequate for typical home uses.