Samsung ML-2525W Laser Printer Review
By Sandy Berger on June 14, 2010
If you don’t need to print in color or you want to save money by printing in black and white, a laser printer might be the answer for you. Laser printers have been around for a long time, but manufacturer’s like Samsung are still innovating. The new Samsung ML-2525W has added special software that allows you to select and drag and drop any web page content into a page to print. They also have added speedier printing, wireless capabilities, and a compact and stylish design.
As shown in Figure 1, the Samsung ML-2525W comes in a typical printer box.
Inside the box is the printer itself, wrapped in protective bindings, as shown in Figure 2. Also included, and shown in Figure 3, is the power cable, a USB cable, a quick install guide, warranty card booklet, network installation guide, and software disk. On the bottom right of Figure 3 you will also see a letter from Samsung giving support options including the website address, the email support options and an 800 telephone support number. After spending much time searching for customer support telephone numbers for some products, this is a refreshing and welcome inclusion.
When unwrapped, the printer itself is very stylish, as shown in Figure 4.
Most of the printer is a flat black finish, except for the top cover. It has a shinier finish that is covered with a textured check pattern that you can both see and feel. This finish is less susceptible to fingerprints and scratches.
The ML-2525W weighs in at 16.9 pounds (7.66 kg) and measures 7.8 inches tall, 14.2 inches wide, and 15.3 inches deep (36.06 x 38.8 x 19.8 cm). The paper cassette is enclosed in the printer, so this printer is very compact and has a small footprint.
As seen in Figure 5, the front of the printer has the 250-sheet pull-out paper tray, a manual feed guide, and the handle which opens to reveal the toner cartridge. Figure 6 shows the front of the printer with the door open.
The top of the printer, shown in Figure 7, has the document output tray, the output support, and the control panel. As you can see, even with the output support unfolded, the printer is still compact. The control panel has two lights and three buttons.
The lights indicate the status of the wireless connection and the error status with different colors and blinking indicate things like a paper jam, toner cartridge status, and paper out. Unfortunately, when one light is used for so many functions, it is non-intuitive. You must use the user manual to determine what each light means. Also, light status can represent multiple situations. So if the red light is on, it is up to the user to determine if the cover is open, the paper is out, the toner cartridge is low, or there is a major error.
There are three buttons below the lights. The first prints a demo page. The second is a cancel button that stops the current print job, and the third is the power button. We love having the cancel button and it is even a little more useful on this printer because if you press and hold it down for about 10 seconds, the printer will print our a machine report which can help with troubleshooting and also gives a usage count and the exact amount of toner remaining. We, however, didn’t really understand the usefulness of the demo button. Seems like Samsung could have put that button to better use.
If you do need more information, you can access the user guide from the icon that Samsung installs in your system tray. While this can be useful, we are becoming a little aggravated by the number of programs like this that wind up in the startup menu, adding to the computers boot time.
The back of the printer, shown in Figure 8, sports a network port, a USB port, and the power receptacle. On the back you also see the handle for the rear cover, which can be opened for clearing paper jams. The bottom of the back of the printer jets out creating a sort of bump that makes the printer a little deeper, but it is still pretty compact.
The setup is easy. Unpack the printer, plug it in and put the CD into the computer and follow the instructions. The computer will prompt you when it is time to plug in the USB or network cable. It will also walk you through the wireless network setup. In our testing the printer found our wireless networks quickly and the wireless set up was very easy.
This printer works with all versions of Windows, with Macs, and also with Linux.
The CD also contains the Samsung Smart Panel, which as previously mentioned installs as a startup program. This mini-program is shown in Figure 9. It gives you a quick link to the user’s guide and also a link to the driver and printer settings, which are presented in a webpage. Here you can find information about the printer including a page count, serial number, network information, firmware version, and status of the amount of toner left in the cartridge.
We expected Samsung’s special AnyWeb Print software to also be installed with the software and we a little stymied when it wasn’t installed automatically. After consulting the user’s guide we found that it was accessible through the Start menu. Click Start, then All programs, then Samsung Printers, then Samsung AnyWeb Print, then Download the latest version. Once you have found the software, it is easy to install. This special software tool is available only for Windows operating systems.
This is a speedy little printer, printing at 24ppm. It also starts up quickly. In our tests pages began printing in 7-10 seconds, although the single-sheet feed was a little slower. The 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution produces text that is sharp and grayscale photos that have excellent contrast.
The ML-2525 has a generous 250-sheet paper tray. It also has a single-sheet feed on the front for printing envelopes, labels, and card stock. The printer handled these types of papers quite well. If the single sheet that you are trying to print on comes out wrinkled, you can adjust the pressure by using the pressure release levers which are located inside the back door of the printer. These small green levers are shown in Figure 10. While this is a bit cumbersome, it does work, allowing you to use slightly thicker papers and envelopes.
Whether you print a single sheet or from the paper tray, the paper is fed out through the top of the printer which holds about 80 sheets. It supports only manual duplexing.
The ML-2525W has a suggested price of USD 149.99 and has a baby brother, the ML-2525 that retails for USD 119.99. Most of the specs of these two printers are comparable, including the speed and 12,000 page monthly duty cycle. The biggest difference comes in the fact that the 2525-W comes with a 360 MHz processor with 64 MB of memory compared to the ML-2525’s 150 MHz processor and 8MB of memory. The ML-2525W also has an Ethernet port that the ML-2525 lacks.
We were, however, disappointed to find that the more expensive 2525W lacks one of the really nice features of the 2525. The ML-2525 has an Easy Screen Print button which allows the user to press a button on the printer and have it print either the entire contents of the screen or the active window. We were stymied as to why this nice, innovative feature was left off the more expensive 2525W.
As is the unfortunately the norm for these types of printers, this Samsung comes with a 1,000-page starter cartridge. The standard cartridge is rated to print 1,500 sheets. One nice feature is that this printer also has a 2,500 page high-yield cartridge. At the time we write this, the Samsung website is offering the standard cartridge for USD 62.99 and the high yield cartridge for USD 74.99. Purchasing the high yield cartridge can obviously lower the cost of consumables.
The Samsung AnyWeb Print software that we mentioned earlier is a nice program. It installs on the Internet Explorer toolbar and allows the user to collect information from several different web pages and organize that information into a print layout. Clips from the web page can be dragged and dropped onto the page to be printed. The page can then be printed or saved in various file formats including PDF. This can be very useful for collecting and saving information as well as saving on paper and toner.
We have a few gripes about the software. First is the fact that it has no instructions. You have to either find your own way around or use the instructions in the help menu. Second is the fact that it can only be used with Internet Explorer, leaving Firefox, Mac, Linux, Opera, and Chrome users out. Third is the fact that it can install without any visual indication that it is available. You may have to click the “more” arrows on the toolbar at the top right of the screen to see the icon you need to bring up the program. Although this is typical for all programs of this type, it can be a problem for a neophyte user. We would like to see Samsung give detailed instruction for AnyWeb Print and give the user the option to install it with the other software.
Samsung ML-2525W laser printer main specifications are:
The Samsung ML-2525W is a stylish and compact printer that would look equally good in any office or home. It’s high print quality and handling of single sheets makes it a good all-around printer. The setup is easy enough for anyone to handle and Samsung boldly gives you the customer support telephone number in case you need help.
The availability of a high-capacity print cartridge keeps the cost of toner low. We only wish that the printer had auto-duplexing which would also help keep a lid on paper use and costs. If you use Internet Explorer, the AnyWeb Print software can also help you control the cost of consumables by printing only what you need. Samsung also has a free service called the S.T.A.R. program that helps you recycle toner cartridges without cost.