- Very space-efficient
- Running costs not best-in-class
- Basic feature set
- Review Price: £73.73
- 1200dpi print head
- 150-sheet paper feed
- 1500-page cartridges
- Rated 5000 pages/month
- 4.2kg weight
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.
Samsung rates the ML-1665 at 16ppm, which is a bit optimistic, but not that much. Our 5-page text document took 30 seconds to print, which gives a speed of exactly 10ppm, but on the longer, 20-page document, it managed 14.82ppm. This is only a page per minute slower than the Samsung ML-2525 and this machine exceeds the ML-2525 on the five-page text and graphics print, which it completes in 33 seconds (a speed of 9.09ppm).
A screen print took just 12 seconds and a 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 sheet finished in 10 seconds, irrespective of print mode. In quality terms, there’s not a lot to pick between the two, either. Both showed good levels of detail and managed to reproduce some of the shadow detail as well. There is an obvious dot mask to the image, but for general-purpose work the 600 x 1,200dpi images look fine.
Business graphics also look good, though there is some slight variation through areas of greyscale fill. While not quite enough to be called banding, it’s just noticeable. Black text is light and sharp, with high contrast and no sign of any spatter.
With just one consumable to consider, running costs are easy to calculate. The 1,500-page cartridge costs over £45, even at the cheapest online source we could find, giving a cost per page of 3.9p, including 0.7p for the paper. This is over a penny more per page than from the ML-2525, which is the main differentiator between the two machines.
Compared with other entry-level, mono laser printers, however, the running cost is by no means exceptional. As this is a brand new printer, it may well be that both its purchase price and the cost of its main consumable will drop in the coming months, making it still more economical to run.
If all you need is a simple printer to produce correspondence and screen prints, the Samsung ML-1665 fits the bill well without making you gasp when you see its price. It’s an excellent mono laser that shows a very respectable turn of speed, with very little processing time before a print starts. You will need to tidy the paper away between print sessions, though.
Score in detail
Print Speed 8
Print Quality 9