The only physical buttons on the ML-1630W are there to release the spring-loaded paper tray and to open its top cover. The tray takes up to 100 sheets of 75gsm paper, fewer than that of typical 80gsm office laser paper. This isn’t much, even for use in a printer aimed at the home – many inkjets take more than this.
Unless you want printed pages ending up on the desk or floor, you’ll need to clip in the transparent plastic paper support at the front of the printer, which to an extent spoils its lines and is conspicuously absent from any of Samsung's product shots.
The tray takes fewer than 100 sheets, so refill frequently
Lift the shiny lid and you have a very low-profile laser engine which uses an integrated drum and toner cartridge good for 2000 pages. This is a fair yield for this class of printer, and the flat-and-low design of the mechanism means the cartridge ‘sits in’ from the top, rather than having to slot in from the front, which is more fiddly.
Emphasising the possibilities of moving the printer physically away from the computer, Samsung has built 802.11b/g Wi-Fi into it, as well as standard Ethernet and USB 2.0 connections. This is unusual in a mono laser printer at this price point, where you normally consider yourself lucky to get a single USB port.
Setting up the wireless isn’t nearly as easy as it should be. Given that the printer is aimed at the home, where dedicated sysadmins are rarely in evidence, having a network and wireless setup involving IP addresses, MAC addresses and WEP/WPA codes is daunting and is bettered by rivals like Canon and Lexmark, who build the whole thing into a simplified installation. These wireless printers may require brief USB connection while setting up, but this is preferable to the messy process Samsung puts you through.
2 to 3p a sheet?
Ouch. Even our all-in-one ink jet does better than that, albeit using non-Canon cartridges. Bet it's better at photo-printing too. Sure, it'll be slower, but you don't buy a laser like this one for high volume printing where speed really matters.
I've got a CLP-510. Unlike the CLP-310, it's a bit of a boatanchor (check out online photos, it's like twice as big and probably 10x as big as the ML-1630W). But, I got it for like $250, color, duplex, works well for me. Don't know about the ML-1630W, but the CLP-510 uses a Xerox print engine. Ubuntu has a driver for it, when I used it about a year ago the color was a little off (I think that's fixed now). Samsung *also* has a binary-blob Linux driver for their printers, which hooked into cups nicely so it just shows as another choice of printer model (my recollection is the Ubuntu-supplied stuff was listed under "Samsung" and the company-supplied were under "SAMSUNG" 8-)
Since I'm on an Ubuntu box I looked, ML-1630 is listed. 1630W isn't, but it appears that's just the 1630 with wireless. JBR, I think you're in good shape!
agreed on the wifi setup
I got a Samsung CLP310 color laser a few months ago - US$196, incl tax and free shipping - rather nice-looking compact black unit, fairly light for a color laser @ 27 lbs., fairly quiet, too.
Have to agree with the rather painful wifi setup. The 'easy' setup didn't work, due to the printer being assigned a strange default IP address - a 191. iirc rather than the standard 192. that most home networks use.
Had to use a crossover ether cable (fortunately, supplied) to connect it directly to my PC, then use a little program on the install CD to manually assign a new address. Then I could at least see the printer.
However, the web-based interface refused to correctly load the Settings page to set up the wifi info (WPA passkey, etc.), returning an error message, using IE6 on w2k; using IE6 on XP did the trick. Still not sure why that should make a difference, unless it's some .NET thing.
Once set up, it works a charm.
B&W printing quality is, as on your reviewed model, lovely. Color is ... meh (and pokey, @ 4ppm) but, hey, it *is* color.
@ Limited printing
I've always found it fiddling to feed envelopes into any printer. Easier to use window envelopes, or a dedicated label printer.
i like it a lot
i'm trying to find a reason for needing a mono laser printer instead of a colour inkjet, and i can't yet
but when i do, i think i'll be getting this one