Samsung ML-2851ND review

by Reads (14,774)
  • Pros

    • Compact, light weight printer
    • Good print speeds
    • Reasonable initial price

     

  • Cons

    • No extra devices, color printing
    • Default print quality could have been better

     

Quick Take

Priced at around $200 it gives users quick, efficient, laser quality prints. 


Need a new printer for your home office or small business but don’t want the hassle of 75 gadgets and the price of color toner?  Then the Samsung ML-2851ND monochrome laser may be the printer for you.  Read our full review of this popular single function printer to find out!

SAMSUNG ML-2851ND SPECIFICATIONS

  • Print speeds: up to 30 ppm in letter, 28 ppm in A4
  • First page out: less than 8.5 seconds
  • Print resolution: up to 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Paper trays: 250-sheet cassette, 1-sheet multi-purpose
  • Monthly duty cycle: up to 30,000 pages
  • Built-in duplexing
  • 400 MHz processor
  • 32 MB memory (expandable)
  • Network ready: Ethernet 10/100 Base TX
  • Energy Star compliant

BUILD AND DESIGN

Samsung claims the ML-2851ND is “the world’s smallest duplex built-in mono laser printer” right on the front of the printer.  While I won’t stake my name to that claim, the ML-2851ND is compact and light, weighing in at 26.2 lbs.  Add in its dimensions – 14.3 x 14.5 x 8.3 inches – and you’ve got a true desktop printer.

The design is sort of plain but I wouldn’t mind having it in view; in fact I like the dark gray top and black control panel.  It is sort of a stretch calling the one button and two lights a control panel but you can be the judge.

Since the ML-2851ND is a monochrome laser, installation is fairly simple.  It comes with one large black toner cartridge that is well labeled and easy to load.  Access the inside by pulling down the front panel on either side of the device.

There are two paper trays on the ML-2851ND.  The first – a one sheet multi-purpose tray- can be opened by pushing lightly above the Samsung logo on the front of the printer.

The 250-sheet cassette is below the one sheet tray and it slides open.  There are two adjustable paper clasps on both trays for different sized media and the cassette has a paper meter on the outside of the drawer.

There isn’t much going on either side of the machine other than heat vents.  There is access to the expandable memory card on the right side and the power button on the left side.

The Ethernet and USB port are located on the back of the ML-2851ND along with a connection for an additional 250-sheet cassette upgrade.  You can also find the power plug on the back of the printer.

ML-2851ND PERFORMANCE

Setting up the ML-2851ND
Most setups for desktop printers are fairly simple: plug it in, install the cartridges, load paper and then pop in the software CD.  And the ML-2851ND didn’t let me down; in fact not only was the set up easy but the driver installation took less than five minutes.  Granted, I initially set up the ML-2851ND directly to my PC through a USB connection but still, it was fast.

I didn’t have trouble setting up the ML-2851ND on my network through wired Ethernet, either.  It took a little bit longer because the printer has to find the network but overall a pretty simple connection process.

The ML-2851ND didn’t come with a bunch of crapware which I really appreciate.  Almost every inkjet printer I’ve ever reviewed has come with a bunch of software most users either don’t need or don’t want.  I’ve found just the opposite with the laser printers I’ve reviewed, the ML-2851 being one of them.

Ease of use
The ML-2851ND is a simple machine because it is a single function printer and it is a monochrome laser.  Pretty much cancels out all the guess work. 

Samsung includes the Samsung Smart Panel with the ML-2851ND.  Instead of cluttering up my desktop, there is a small icon in the lower right end of the taskbar.  In the panel, users will find info on ink levels, a troubleshooting guide, printer and driver settings, and a supplies button.

As a journalist, I use Microsoft Word often and the ML-2851ND print settings can be accessed through Word’s print properties as well. 

Performance Tests
The ML-2851ND is a laser printer so I assumed that the advertised print speeds would be pretty accurate and I wasn’t disappointed.  In default print settings using my 38 page Word document, I got a first page out in less than 10 seconds and print speeds up to 27 pages per minute (ppm).  If you cut out the processing time, you actually get about 32 ppm.

When I cut back my Word document to 30 pages and printed in default printing mode, the print speeds were better because the processing time was shorter.  The ML-2851ND printed 30 pages in 1:09.

The biggest problem I had with the default printing was the quality.  It wasn’t bad by any means but the text wasn’t as dark/bold as I’ve come to expect from a laser printer.  I would say the quality was just good, not great.

I also tested the toner saver mode with my 30 page Word document.  The first page was out in about 8 seconds and the ML-2851ND printed 30 pages in 1:06.  The quality in toner saver mode is decent enough for interoffice memos, to-do lists, or other day-to-day print jobs that will be seen by a handful of people.

Where I saw the best quality text was in best resolution mode – big surprise, huh?  In a 15 page test in best resolution mode, the ML-2851ND printed the first page in less than 8 seconds and finished the entire job in 30 seconds.  Slower than the advertised speeds? Yes.  But the text quality was excellent compared to the default mode (good) and toner saver mode (decent).

This Samsung model has a built-in duplexing mode.  I printed my 38 page Word document in duplex mode (long end); the first page was out in 20 seconds (both sides).  The ML-2851ND printed 12 images (6 pages) in a minute; it took 2:48 to print all 38 images (19 pages).  I did have to wait an extra 1:30 but I saved 19 sheets of paper.

Wondering how much energy the ML-2851ND is burning while printing all these jobs?  Not as much as you might of thought.  Or at least not as much as I thought it would.

During the initial startup – which lasted about a minute – the energy used pulsated between 650 W and 450 W but then dropped down to 10 W in ready mode.  Not bad at all for a laser printer even if the ML-2851ND is compact desktop printer. 

When it drops into sleep mode, the ML-2851 only uses 5 W of energy which is comparable to an inkjet printer.  In most cases, laser printers use much more energy than an inkjet.

When warming up from sleep mode, it pulsates from 230 W to 470 W but when the ML-2851ND starts printing it stays steady around 230 W.  Once it returns to ready mode, it drops back to 10 W.

I did want to mention that like most laser printers, the ML-2851ND does put off that toner smell but it wasn’t nearly as potent as some of the larger, heavy duty lasers I’ve come across.  You could have the ML-2851ND on your desk – I did for the entire review – and not suffocate.  I would recommend keeping this printer in a well ventilated room and away from people who are sensitive to the smell of fusing toner.

PROS

  • Compact, light weight printer
  • Good print speeds
  • Low energy consumption for laser printer
  • Reasonable initial price

CONS

  • No extra devices, color printing
  • Default print quality could have been better

CONCLUSION

You know you are a reviewing a good printer when it is hard to come up with cons at the end of the review and I had that exact problem with the Samsung ML-2851ND.  Priced at around $200 (I did find it for less than $200 with a couple of online vendors), it gives users quick, efficient, laser quality prints. 

I would recommend this printer for any home office in need of a high volume document printer or small business with no need for color.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

The Samsung ML-2851ND monochrome laser printer is available now through several authorized vendors on the Samsung website.

Refill toner cartridges can be purchased directly through Samsung.  The regular black toner will print about 2,000 pages for $89.99 while the high-yield black toner can give users up to 5,000 pages for $129.99.

 


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