ML-2151N Workgroup Monochrome Laser Printer Review
A good printer can make or break your day. A good printer can help you make the most of your time management and can provide consistent results. On the other hand, a printer that falters can create havoc that will destroy you and your business. Today we review a printer that is capable of handling a big load, the Samsung ML-2151N.
Samsung is a worldwide leader in consumer products such as printers, monitors, televisions and much more. They produce many high quality products and have been making printers for a long time.
Laser printing provides the finest printing possible thus far. It offers high quality generally superior to inkjet printing. It is also fast and the toner lasts much longer than regular inkjet printer cartridges (up to 8000 pages, Samsung claims). This lowers the cost of printing. You also do not have the problem of ink smudging after the printing is completed. In laser printing once the print is done, it is dry and ready to go.
As you can see by the specifications, the ML-2151N is a feature rich printer. It is also a powerful printer with 16MB of memory. This memory provides good results and, when placed in a workplace environment, will help decrease data overload to the printer. The ML-2151N also supports multiple operating systems, making it right at home in an office environment using different computers. One of the features I admire on the ML-2151N is the fact it is using USB 2.0 technology and not the USB 1.1 technology that some other laser printers still use. This means faster data transfer to the ML-2151N, decreasing job print time. The version I am reviewing today does not come with the wireless LAN option.
The Samsung ML-2151N comes in a big box, which is heavy and comes with several things. Aside from the printer, which was protected with Styrofoam, a manual, driver CD, SyncThru CD, power cable and a toner cartridge are included. Unfortunately, Samsung has not provided any parallel or USB cables to get the printer up and running.
The Samsung ML-2151N is covered with tape to prevent any of the doors on the printer from opening and possibly breaking. The printer takes up a fairly big footprint so you will have to reserve a large space for it. One of the contributors to its size is the ML-2151N’s ability to support many sizes of paper: letter size, A4, Exec, JIS B5, A5, Folio, Legal, and custom.
Let us start with what is located in the front of the printer. The top cover can be opened to install the toner cartridge that is provided. Doing this is very simple. You basically remove the filmstrip from the cartridge, shake from side to side, and finally slide it into the top cover. An Energy Saver sticker is on the printer signifying the energy management that the ML-2151N implements. After a few minutes of inactivity, the printer automatically sleeps, saving electricity.
The top tray, located directly below the top cover, is the mutli-purpose tray used for printing anything from envelopes to transparencies (envelopes uses a manual feed process). The bottom tray is the primary paper tray. This tray can hold up to 500 pages of paper and there is a paper level indicator to the right of the tray that shows how much paper is left. The blue mechanism you see inside the paper tray is for custom paper fitting purposes.
In the left rear of the ML-2151N are the power receptacle and computer connections. The notable thing here is the network jack, making one printer useful for home and small business networks.
To the right of the connections lies the output tray, which can be opened for clearing a paper jam. I did not experience a need for this during testing. Lastly, at the bottom is the extension for the paper tray that allows holding longer lengths of paper.
The top of the ML-2151N includes the top output tray where the paper exits face down. There is a retractable output support to prevent longer types of papers from falling on the floor. On the top right hand corner is the LCD screen control panel. The screen is backlighted with a bright green LED, which looks very cool. The control panel handles many options, such as resolution (from 300dpi, 600dpi [the default] and 1200dpi), network setup, power saving options, PostScript options and loads of other choices. The options you would need in order to help operate the printer are there and then some.
The manual that is provided with the ML-2151N comes in different languages and is very clear to understand.
The sides of this printer feature vents for the integrated fans that keep the printer cool as possible. On the right side is the power button. I like the fact that the power button is conveniently located on the right side and not in the less accessible rear.
Using the Samsung ML-2151N
To setup this printer is very easy. All you need to do is connect either a parallel cable or USB cable from the printer to the PC, connect the power cable, and turn it on. Windows XP automatically found the printer and asked me to insert the Driver CD to install the ML-2151N’s drivers. After that, you are in business. While we did not examine configuring the printer with the SyncThru CD for networking, the process appears to be equally simple. Throughout testing, I used the USB connection. USB 2.0 technology permits data going to the printer very fast.
Operation of the ML-2151N is very quiet in idle and still very quiet during operation. During operation all you really hear is the printer warming up and the paper coming out from the tray. From the time you power on the ML-2151N, it takes about 10 seconds to get ready to print and from the time you send the print command from the computer to printer it takes a matter of 5 seconds to get started printing and once it prints, it prints fast.
Now Samsung provides a claim of 21 pages per minute (ppm). All manufactures claim their ppm while using a lower than the maximum dpi rating supported by their printer. This can be misleading if you routinely use professional, high quality 1200 dpi mode. Your speed will not be as high. The ML-2151N claim of 21 ppm is based on 600dpi mode, the middle of the selectable dpi setting. For most of us, 600 dpi from laser printing is good enough. Don’t confuse the quality of inkjet printing of 600 dpi with 600 dpi laser printing – the laser is generally superior.
I can confirm 21 ppm on default mode of 600dpi and with text that is sharp, clear, and easily readable with no bleeding whatsoever. The ML-2151N’s printing graphic quality is also generally good. I encountered a range from crisp and clear to sometimes having visible scan lines. For a laser printer at 600 dpi mode, it was pretty darn good. Going to the highest 1200dpi mode will provide better results but you lose some pages per minute speed.
Throughout testing the Samsung ML-2151N was reliable, flexible, and demonstrated a quality build. There have been no paper jams of any kind and it’s been very consistent in print quality.
One of the cool features of the ML-2151N is the Toner Save button. Pressing this button will save you up to 40% of toner. Print sharpness is the same but the print looks less dark.
The toner save effect
The opportunity of testing the Samsung ML-2151N was a great experience. It performed to my expectations and added a few more surprises such as the Toner Save, the network abilities, support for USB 2.0, and an amazing range of paper sizes. Overall, I can easily recommend the Samsung ML-2151N to anyone looking for a great monochrome laser printer for the business or home use.
The only negative for the Samsung ML-2151N is that they should include either a parallel cable or, even better, a USB 2.0 cable to help the consumer run the printer right off the bat. Samsung, include a USB 2.0 in the bundle!
Pros and Cons