OVERVIEW: The worst thing that can happen to a printer is to be considered obsolete. Whether it can’t meet the current demands of its users or is unable to handle increased demands in the future--that‘s when a printer is looked upon less as a printer and more as a potential 25-lb boat anchor. The handsome Samsung ML-2851ND offers fast monochrome 2-sided prints and built-in network support.
The “D” in ML-2851ND is for “duplexing”. 2-sided printing is an economic and environmentally friendly way to save on paper.
The ML-2851ND is fast starting and fast printing. In less than 16 seconds after power up, this laser starts chugging letter-size prints at 30 pages per minute, making this one of the fastest of the ML series. Between print jobs, add an additional 8½ seconds.
When you flip open the door on the front of the ML-2851ND, it reveals the 250-sheet paper tray. The single-sheet manual feeder is above the main paper tray, for printing labels, cards, and transparencies (and make sure to use transparencies that are “laser printer safe”). The main tray can handle a variety of sizes: from postcard (3” x 5”) up to legal (8 ½” x 14”). The tray has an adjustable rear lever to allow the printer to hold up to 11” x 14” legal-size paper, while maintaining the same footprint on your desk. The ML-2851ND’s larger paper and toner capacity makes it ideal for people who rely on printing continuously throughout the day. For expandability, an additional 250-sheet tray can be added.
Speaking of paper capacity, the little mechanical lever on the front of ML-2851ND that indicates how much paper is in the tray is an easy, simple way to know at a glance when to refill.
At 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution the ML-2851ND keeps text sharp, even at 6-point font sizes, and does a decent job with graphics. To keep from consuming too much toner, the printer has a 600 dpi resolution with a text-enhance and image-enhance switch. The Toner Save feature also allows for increased toner life while still producing clear images.
This little laser printer packs a whopping 32MB of memory. With four times the RAM found in most laser printers, the ML-2851ND can easily handle being a network computer for a computer classroom or a business department. The printing emulators include the most popular ones used by businesses today: PostScript, HP PCL, Epson, IBM ProPrinter, and Samsung’s own SPL. A second RAM slot is available to expand printer memory up to 160MB.
The “N” in ML-2851ND is for “networking”. Having built-in Ethernet network support and a hi-speed USB, the ML-2851ND is right at home either in the middle of an office floor or connected to a secretary’s computer. Often printer companies will offer network features as a $150 - $200 option. With all the other features that have been included in the ML-2851ND as standard, it’s nice to see that Samsung didn’t skimp on the network either.
While practically silent in standby at 26dB, the ML-2851ND does get noisy. Maximum noise is 50dB printing, but if it’s sitting in a typical office where typical conversation levels are 60dB, you won’t notice it.
There’s a time to keep things simple, but having a single button to perform several different functions is too much. If the ML-2851ND had a multi-line display, I could see having the single-button-does-it-all. But the ML-2851ND has just two multi-color LEDs for communication, so it’s like having to read Morse code—or POST code from BIOS. Hold the “Cancel” button once and it cancel’s the current job. Holding the button a half of a second longer will activate the Toner Saver. Hold it for 2 seconds to print a demo page. Hold it for 6 seconds and the ML-2851ND prints a configuration page. Unless there are “crib notes” taped to the printer, don’t expect a lot of employees to take the time to try to find a fix to a printer problem.
INK / TONER NEEDS:
Samsung was nice enough to include a full standard-yield toner, instead of the usual “starter” cartridge. The ML-2851ND’s toner and drum are integrated in a single cartridge, making it easy to maintain. The toner has a yield of about 2,000 pages or 4 reams of paper. A high-capacity toner option is also available to extend time between toner replacements from 4 reams of paper to a case of paper.
The ML-2851ND has one of the better software packages. Not only does it have the basic printing properties for Mac and Linux (and mainstays like Novell NetWare, and HP-UX operating systems), but for Windows users there’s an advanced printing section that allows for booklet printing, creating a large poster mosaics, and watermarks.
To make network printer configurations and notifications easy, Samsung’s SyncThru Web Service allows printer changes to be made using your IE, Safari, or Firefox browser. The software is not part of the CD and has to be downloaded from Samsung’s web site.
The ML-2851ND’s standard features plus expandability of memory and paper capacity give this laser printer the longevity to grow with a company’s needs. -- Mel Myers