With a low price tag and cheap running costs, the ML-1915 is an economical mono laser suited to single-PC use.
Cheap; low running costs; fast print speeds; compact; good text quality.
No networking; flimsy flap at the front.
Laser printers with low price tags are usually blighted by high running costs and low print speeds. Samsung is hoping to change all this with its new sub-£100 ML-1915 mono laser.
In keeping with Samsung's recent laser printers, the ML-1915 has an all-black chassis and smooth rounded edges. At 360mm wide and 389mm deep, it's compact enough to fit on an average-sized desk. It's also relatively light at just over 7kg.
Installation was quick and painless, and the ML-1915 comes with drivers for Windows, Mac and various Linux distributions.
The output tray sits at the top and can cope with 80 pages, while the input tray slots neatly into the chassis at the front and can hold 250 pages. There's also a single-sheet input at the front, just above the input tray.
Controls on the printer are kept to a minimum, with no LCD monitor and just three buttons: Power, Cancel and Printscreen. As its name suggests, the Printscreen button lets you print screen grabs; a quick press results in the entire screen being printed, but hold it for two seconds and it will print only the active window.
With its low price of just £99, it's no surprise that the ML-1915 forgoes extras that many corporate users will be looking for. There's no network connectivity (wired or wireless), and you don't get the luxury of a duplex unit. A manual duplex feature is included, but this involves the user physically turning the page over and then reinserting it to continue the printing, which is very time consuming.
The ML-1915 uses a single black toner cartridge, which slides neatly into the front of the chassis. However, the flap that you have to open to access it feels very flimsy. As is common with budget laser printers, a starter cartridge is shipped as standard and will last just 700 pages, so be prepared to purchase more toner sooner rather than later.
Replacement toner is available in standard and high-yield sizes. The standard cartridge is rated at 1,500 pages and will set you back £45, which results in a cost per page of 3p. Opt for the high-yield cartridge, however, and with a capacity of 2,500 pages and price of £56, printing costs fall to just 2.2p per page. There are no other consumables that need replacing during the life of the printer and, for a mono laser with such a low initial outlay, these running costs aren't at all bad.
Print quality is very impressive, with text remaining crisp right down to 2pt. When printing images, though, it struggles with fine detail, and dark grey areas end up looking jet black.
As for speeds, Samsung quotes the printer at 18ppm, and that's exactly what it achieved in our tests. However, this doesn't take into account the time it takes for the first page to appear, which on average is just under 10 seconds with the printer in standby mode. From a cold start, it takes 22 seconds for the first page to arrive.
Given that it's a USB-only printer, the ML-1915 is best suited to single-PC use. That said, with a monthly duty cycle of 10,000 pages, it will be up to the task of being shared between a small workgroup.
Meanwhile, the low initial outlay will appeal to those on a tight budget, as will the relatively cheap running costs. Throw in decent print speeds, and the ML-1915 is a great budget laser printer. It's just a shame there's no network upgrade option.