Once set up, the printer driver is well equipped, offering up to 16 pages per sheet, watermarks and overlays and manual duplex, by printing odd pages and even pages separately. There’s no automatic duplex option and no extra paper tray. In fact, there is nothing you can add to it, but it does come with a pale blue polishing cloth, so you can keep the piano black in Steinway glossinesss. Bless.
Samsung printer comes closer to its published print speed than many printer makers' offerings do. It claims the ML-1630W churns pages out at a rate of 16 per minute, and we printed a 20-page text print in one minute 33 seconds - 12.9ppm. That time is for a click-to-drop test - from clicking OK in the Print dialog to the last page dropping into the output tray, so includes processing time. A 6 x 4in photo on an A4 page took a very commendable 15 seconds to appear.
The cartridge is easy to replace
You may not often want to print photos on a monochrome laser, but many documents now have greyscale elements, so it’s good the extra processing time doesn’t slow this printer down by much.
Print quality is generally very good. Black text is jet-black and crisp, with little sign of any toner spatter. Greyscale graphics, derived from colour documents, show no banding and have a wide range of shades, so you lose none of the differential between colours, even at the printer’s default 600dpi resolution. The maximum resolution is 1200 x 600dpi, though this is achieved by interpolation.
Our photo print showed that for most purposes, there’s not a lot of difference between the two resolutions. The print was well reproduced in both modes and, although there’s some slight micro-banding in areas of solid fill, this is less than often seen in lasers at this price.
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