I finally decided to buy a new laser printer for our home/office. The old Brother HL 2040 has served us faithfully for the past 6 years or so but its constant paper jam problem is just too much to bear already. I was mainly deciding between the P3k+ Samsung ML-1640 laser printer and the near P6k HP laser printer. Although I was a bit partial in favor of the cheaper Samsung, the fact that the HP was out of stock at PC Express made it a simple decision for me to buy the Samsung.
Installation was straightforward. Below are my observations:
- This printer will not win any speed test that's for sure. Compared to our old Brother and the HP at the store office, this unit churns out prints maybe 1.5 to 2 times slower. Its ok for typical home use. But if you plan to do high volume printing for the office, this is too slow.
- Unlike the Brother HL2040 which has a manual paper feed, this one does not really have one and if you try to feed a short paper (8 inches or less), you have to nudge it a bit to keep it within the paper sensor range. Otherwise, the printer complains there's no paper.
- In fairness, its paper tray and printer roller design is simpler than the Brother and is very similar to HP's. I think Brother's design, while flexible, makes it prone to paper jams.
- The Samsung printer did not even ship with a manual anymore. Not that I really need one. I guess it lessens the cost. Installing the software also installs a PDF version of the manual. I had to check the manual though because the panel buttons and lights are not obvious as to what they do.
- Unlike the Brother printer also, this Samsung laser printer does not seem to have an auto power-down feature when left idle for an extended period of time. You really have to manually shut it down.
The toner cartridge costs P2k+ -- almost the cost of a new ML-1640. But then again, the HP's toner cartridge only costs about P100 cheaper. Here's hoping it will be easy to find an ink-refilling station who can service this Samsung.