- Review Price: £88.22
Samsung has built up a good reputation for its low-cost mono laser printers and the ML-2525 expands on the main strengths of its predecessors. The size, speed and running costs should make it a good choice as an individual desktop laser, but how does it measure up to the spec sheet and feature list?
Samsung has cleverly made the ML-2525 look a lot smaller than it is. The small, squat, black box does this by having a large black lump sticking out at the back. The clever bit is that you have to go looking for the lump, as it’s sufficiently narrow and shallow not to be seen from most viewing angles. It houses the power supply and interface circuitry and covers the back of the paper tray, which can take a healthy 250-sheets. There’s a single-sheet, multi-purpose slot positioned just above the tray, too.
The top surface of the machine, while basically high-gloss black plastic, has a texture of dots set into it, giving it an air of sophistication. A black, textured indent takes the pages as they feed from the top and although there’s a flip-up paper stop, we didn’t need to use this at all when feeding A4 paper. At the back are sockets for mains power and USB, the only data connection on this machine.
The control panel is simple but sufficient, with two indicators for error conditions, and buttons for Stop Print and power. The final control is Samsung’s unique screen print button, which automatically takes whatever is on the screen, or selected portions of it, and prints them out. This is a very useful feature and one other manufacturers may well imitate before too long.
A single-piece drum and toner cartridge slots in from the front, once you’ve folded down the slightly flimsy front panel. Changing consumables is extremely straightforward and the work of moments. Drivers for Windows and OS X are provided on the software CD and this includes the utility for screen print, as well. Various Linux distributions are also supported, through downloadable drivers.
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.
Score in detail
Print Speed 8
Print Quality 9
|Paper Size||A4, A5, B5, B5 (JIS), Letter, Legal, Executive, Oficio, Folio|
|Sheet Capacity||250 sheets|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||24 ppmipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||Not Applicableipm|