Having owned inkjet printers for the most of my life, I’ve always ran into something called the “use it or lose it” experience. You see, there’s nothing really wrong with inkjet printers. Honestly. I’ve had no problems dealing with the myriad of printers I’ve owned in the past. Sure I had the occasional paper jams and whatnot but as far as major malfunctions, none. They just worked. However, the biggest and I mean the biggest issue I had with these ink based printers is due to them being, well, ink based! The problem with me owning printers in general is that I rarely need to actually print something. I could go weeks, heck even months, before actually turning my printer on for a print job. So what’s the problem? Well, anyone who has ever owned a inkjet printer before and decided to halt their print jobs for a while know that the ink within the cartridges can dry out and/or get clogged pretty quickly. With ink cartridges costing an arm and a leg, you can see my dilemma. Well, I’ve finally managed to solve this problem once and for all and decided to purchase my first ever laser printer.You’re probably thinking why didn’t I just go ahead and purchase a laser printer and be done with the problem back then. Well, laser printers weren’t really meant for personal home usage back in the days and because of that, they were fairly expensive. Nowadays, they can be purchased fairly cheap. Obviously many of them still cost a lot but if you are looking for one to use at home or for your personal office, you’re in luck.
The Advantage of Laser Printers Over Inkjet Printers
The major difference between these two types of printers is in the type of material used to produce the color or ink on the paper. With inkjet printers, liquid ink is used. As with anything liquid, it can and will evaporate over time. That’s not the only problem. Ink cartridges can also get clogged from time to time and require you to perform certain maintenance procedures in order for your prints to come out normally again. With laser printers, the cartridges don’t hold liquid. Instead, it uses a powdery carbon substance which you might know of as toner. Basically, because these tiny particles don’t melt or evaporate over time, they have a much longer longevity than inkjet cartridges. As you can tell already, this is perfect for users like me who want the convenience of owning a personal printer but only need to perform occasional print jobs. Some of you may laugh at what I just said because people usually picture a person owning a laser printer to be one who prints a whole lot. I guess this can be attributed to laser printers being mainly seen in office environments only.
Samsung ML-1865wYou can find a lot more information on this printer model directly from Samsung’s website.
The printer I’ve just purchased is the Samsung ML-1865w. This is a monochrome printer so yes, it will only print in black. Users who are always on the lookout for killer deals online will immediately recognize this laser printer as the one that occasionally drops down to the incredible price of just $49.99. I pretty much check out Slickdeals on a daily basis to always be on the lookout for killer deals and when this offer came up again at Office Depot, I finally jumped on the deal like a madman. That’s right folks. For just $50, you can have you very own laser printer.
Currently, the cheapest price for this printer model on Amazon and eBay is around $79.99. This is still a good deal if you are looking for a personal laser printer.
Out of the Box
Not much going on here. You have your usual instructional booklet and warranty information, a CD containing the printer driver software, a USB cable, power cable, and the Samsung ML-1865w printer itself. The printer is very low profile and is not a bit bulky at all. You can see in the picture below how this printer fares next to my 14″ laptop. I don’t have much room as it is and so this printer is perfect if you don’t want something hogging all your precious desk space! In fact, at first glance, someone might actually mistaken the printer for a mini trash bin! On a side note, this printer comes with a starter toner cartridge which gives a yield of about 700 or so pages. However, don’t be shocked if what you’ll eventually get out of it is much, much less.
Installing this Samsung laser printer is pretty much as simple as it gets. It honestly takes no longer than 6-10 minutes. Now, you could use the provided CD disc to install the printer driver but you’re not a amateur and so you’re going to do what big boys do and download the latest and greatest driver directly from the manufacturer instead. Visit the Samsung Support website and punch in your printer model (ML-1865w). You should then be able to download the latest user manual and driver software.
If you’ve followed the instruction booklet that came with the manual, then at this point your printer is already turned on and connected to your computer. However, Windows 7 will claim that it can’t find the driver for the device, which we’re going to provide right now. Once you have the driver package extracted and run, you’ll be presented with the install wizard. Only proceed next if you will be using the printer via USB. If you are going the wireless route, skip to the next section.
To install the printer, you basically just follow the on-screen instructions by clicking on the big Install Now link and keep hitting Next. No, I’m serious. That’s it. The software should then detect the printer and all you have to do is tell it to proceed. Once the driver is installed, go ahead and print a test page. Once the page prints, you’re all done. No sweat right?
I’ve been reading a lot of user complaints on how hard it is to setup this printer for wireless printing. Well, they’ve either have a very special wireless network setup or they can’t follow instructions that well. I honestly expected a challenge myself because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Well, there’s none. Here is what I did to configure the wireless setup on the Samsung ML-1865w.If your router has a feature called Wi-Fi Protected Setup, you can easily connect the printer to your wireless network with a couple of clicks. Although I also have this feature on my router, I chose to forgo it because I wanted to see how difficult the manual configuration would be.
- Run the setup program you’ve downloaded from Samsung’s website or from the included CD. Rather than selecting Install Now, you’re going to click the Wireless Setting and Installation link instead.
- Your printer will then begin picking up all the wireless connections it can find and display it back to you. Your home wireless network should be in this list!
- Once you have selected your wireless network, it will then ask for the wireless network key.
- Next, you’ll confirm the settings. By default, the printer will use DHCP to obtain an IP address for itself. This is OK in most situations. If you want to, you can assign the printer its own dedicated TCP/IP settings by clicking on the Change TCP/IP button in this window.
- Next, you’ll confirm the printer connection.
- In the software installation screen, be sure to install the printer driver. You can optionally choose to install the Smart Panel application as well.
Now that our wireless printer has been configured, we can now manually connect to it within Windows. You may or may not have to perform this step. If you look inside Devices and Printers (hit the Start button), you might see the printer already listed. If not, we have to manually connect to it. You would also have to perform the following procedures on any other computer in your home network that wants to print to this printer as well.
- Start off by heading into the Devices and Printers applet. You can do so by hitting the Start button and it should be on the right panel. Next, click on the Add a Printer button at the top of the window. Windows will now walk you through the wizard to get you connected to the printer. Please make sure that your Samsung printer is turned on and connected to your wireless network before proceeding! In the first wizard window, select the “Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer” option.
- Next, Windows will search your home network for available printers. Your Samsung should pop right in the list after a few seconds or so. Select it and click Next.
- Windows will now ask you to pick the right printer driver to use with this printer. Luckily, our printer device is on the supported list of printers. Choose Samsung in the manufacturer section and scroll down until you see the “Samsung ML-1865w Series”. Select it and proceed. If you do not initially see the printer in the list, have Windows update the list. Your computer will obviously need to be online and the update will take a while, so be patient.
- In the next window, opt not to share the printer.
- Finally, set this printer as the default if you wish to. Here, you can also print a test page to confirm everything is working.
- Head back to the Devices and Printers applet and you should now see your Samsung printer in the list. That’s it.
Printer Noise and Speed
For a laser printer, this Samsung is very quiet. Coupled with its small form factor, this printer is a winner for users or college students who need to work in a limited area. When you initially turn on the printer, it takes a couple of seconds for it to warm up. Again, the noise is very tolerable and nothing dramatic. Once the warm-up process completes, you can begin printing.
As far as speed goes, the official listing for this model is 19ppm (pages per minute). This is way more than enough for casual users. If you only need to print a couple of pages per session, this printer is more than qualified to get the job done. Officially, this printer has a monthly duty cycle of up to 5,000 pages. Therefore if you need to print more than that per month, you’ll want to look for a different model. I’ve included a video below in where I try to show you the speed of the printer. I don’t really have anything to print at the moment and I don’t like to waste paper just for the sake of a demonstration so in the video, you’ll only see the printer print about 5 pages. I’ve tried putting the camera up close to the printer in hopes of capturing the sound it makes as well when printing.
Not much to say on print quality. If you’ve ever seen a printout from a laser printer before, then this printer is right up that alley. Nothing special, nothing fancy. It just gets the job done. Personally, these cheap laser printers are great for printing out reports and other things that contain mainly of words and tables. Of course, it will also print pictures and whatnot but don’t expect it to rival that of black inkjet printers. For that, you’ll need a much more expensive laser printer than this one. For the price I paid for this, it’s worth every penny.
Extra FeaturesIn order to actually enable energy-saving mode, you have to install the Samsung Easy Printer Manager software.
There’s not a whole lot of special features on this laser printer. It does however, have one energy saving ability. Having your laser printer power on and off can drain a lot of electricity. Ever noticed your lights flickering just a bit right when you turn on a laser printer? With the Samsung ML-1865w, you can enable energy-saving mode by simply pressing once on the power button (assuming printer is already turned on). When you need to print again, simply click the button again. This is a useful feature if you have a household of busy people who need to print on a daily basis. Rather than turning the printer on/off, simply use this energy saving feature instead and only turn it off when you are sure you won’t be using the device for an extended amount of time.
In the End…
I am extremely happy with this printer. I still couldn’t believe I got a laser printer for less than the price of some toner cartridges! I can finally rid my hands of ink sucking printers such as my Canon MP530. Too bad I can’t completely get rid of it because I still need it for its scanning capabilities! But anyways, I don’t have to worry anymore about ink cartridges drying out and clogging or whatever else happens when I don’t use these printers for a while.Just because you have a brand new laser printer doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about toner anymore! You’d be doing yourself a huge favor by utilizing a couple of neat tips on on how to save ink and toner by only printing the things you want on a paper. Read this article now!