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Having waved goodbye to my most recent printer, I find myself thinking back to my first time University years. An hour before the deadline I would still be error-checking my essay. I really do not remember worrying about getting that hard copy printed half as much as the need to get a second copy on a floppy disk and run across a muddy field in the pouring rain to hand it all in moments before the building doors would slam shut. I even remember people running in the wrong direction, panic stricken faces from realising they had forgotten the disk. I remember a lecturer saying 'If your printer breaks down, I'm afraid that's no excuse' and thinking 'well, what are the chances of that happening?!'
Back then, my dad had bought me a little Samsung black and white laser printer, and now I see just how much I took this little friend for granted. The ML 1710 is a small, modest creature of the printer world, and even with minimal functionality (monochrome, single-sided printing only) I now believe it really is a little wonder.
My dad has never been keen on making or even letting me carry heavy items, and even more so when I was younger (and ironically probably strong enough). This printer looked heavy, and I often let him deal with carrying it up and down steps. In comparison to my last printer, a wide but lightweight HP laserjet, it probably was more dense but also more compact. In fact it is not really heavy to a point that it is a problem, just heavy enough to feel like it might be good quality for me. I would not have wanted to lug it up the six flights of my last accommodation, but a couple of staircases I could handle, and I'm not that strong. The shape is a bit awkward for me to get my arms around for carrying and the box it came in was not ideal for that purpose either, but with a decent strong carrier bag it would be no trouble.
When set on my desk, and it remained in my bedroom for quite some time after University until dad passed it on to other family, it took up a neat rectangle of space without odd bits sticking out and this made me feel more comfortable with it. If I measured the actual space taken up on the table it might well be about the same as that wide printer. However, because it was not so wide I felt I had more desk space I could actually use for working and did not have to allow so much space around the device, apart from for the pull-out paper tray.
The colour of the printer is a neutral off-white, almost warm grey with a darker grey front, which now looks rather dated and out of fashion. It has a slightly grainy feel. The shape has enough smooth curves, however, to give me the impression of something sleek and stylish, which fits with my mental image of Samsung as a brand. A weird thing to say about a printer, I know, but I find this sort-of comforting. I never saw a scratch on the printer, and dust would collect if not cleaned, but was barely noticeable in comparison to the glossy surfaces of today's printers.
The paper tray felt fairly strong and secure; something I had taken for granted. I also liked the reassuring click I'd hear when shutting the drawer, and it was in fact pretty durable and tough, as I was not always gentle with it. On the other hand, the weakest aspect was the small flap hinged on to allow printing papers to rest on their exit from the printer. This was pretty flimsy, but not positioned where it would be easily broken as it was on top and not particularly essential as a part in my opinion.
Setup and Installation
The printer comes with and power cable and quite a good amount of setup information, but quite frankly most of it is not really needed, but handly to keep hold of in case you need it in future. I found the setup process fairly self-explanatory.
This printer has very basic functionality, and so to me it is reasonable not to expect its setup to be taxing at all. Thankfully for me, it was not. One point to note is that it did not come with its own USB cable to connect to computers, which is not ideal for a printer that needs at least one method of connection. Fair enough, most people might have a spare from previous printers, but I think if it forces the buyer to make another purchase before they can use the product it's a little unfair.
It had a starter toner but this does have a lower capacity than the replacement. I let dad help me with sorting out this part of the setup process but it seemed fairly quick and simple. Finally it is just a matter of plugging it in and switching it on. Then, once the software is installed on the computer, it's really easy to plug in and go. Paper jams were rare but on the odd occasion it was very easy to open up and sort them out. Also because the toner lasts a while, there's less worrying about changing cartridges often.
At the time I still had a CD drive, and so I could install using the enclosed CD. I checked on the Samsung site and print drivers are still available for a range of operating systems for download as well. For me the installation took a matter of minutes, and there's no extra unnecessary nonsense with this printer, so using Windows I found that I could just go through the normal printer settings options if I needed to check on progress or pause or cancel prints. I don't like extra software that slows down my computer and luckily there were no such problems here.
For me it's a real shame that this printer only does A4 black and white printing, but it would have been too good to be true to be able to own a printer that works so well, does A3 colour printing and makes my coffee in the morning!
The paper tray is a bit on the small side for heavy users, so frequently needing to reload might get a bit annoying, especially since this printer is designed to be fast and good for heavy use. On the other hand it's a decent sturdy pull out tray that can be fully removed. There's no fiddling about with the paper to make sure it's all in correctly and won't print wonky, because it holds the paper well. I've heard of people having problems with the very occasional wonky printout but I can't say I have had this problem. The tray fits comfortably inside the unit and keeps the paper safe.
As a law student at the time I used this printer most often, my main need was to be able to rapidly churn out my essays, grab them straight off the top of the printer and run for it. For text only printing, this printer is fantastic. I found that it would take just a few seconds to complete a task and I could quickly pick up my work and go. In terms of quality, text was very clear. For printing graphics, unfortunately the results were not so strong, but basic diagrams were reasonable. One thing to note is that with its speed, the paper can get hot and start to curl, so I found it helps to put them into a hard folder quickly to reduce the effects of the heat.
The printer is not exactly quiet, but in comparison to my most recent printer, I thought it was fairly discreet for sound. Switching on is not so loud and the printing noise is no more than most similar printers I have come across.
I never understood the concept of printers breaking down when I was using this printer, because it really never did. The worst that could happen during the odd print was that the paper got too hot or was crumpled when feeding in and caused a paper jam. This was extremely rare and on each occasion I would simply open it up, gently remove the paper, close and it would be on its way again. The printer seemed to be tough as old boots to me and never really caused me any trouble.
It is a shame that this printer does not do automatic double-sided printing because this would have been economical and good for the environment. I suppose you could reprint on the other side but personally I would be worried about paper jams from feeding hot and maybe slightly deformed paper straight back into the machine.
I did not have to worry about changing the toner during my student years so it lasted very well and was not affected by long periods of non-use. For this reason it really was an ideal economical student printer for those on essay-based courses.
My needs have changed quite dramatically over the years, so this printer is no longer suitable. It would have been nice to keep it alongside a colour-A3 printer for 'economy rough prints' but in spite of the fact it is so compact I just would not have the room. I am still gutted that it was given away however, because it was just so helpful to me back when I did all my writing. It comes highly recommended, although there probably are newer versions available now, I only hope they are as good as this one. So for printing large volumes of black and white text, this is a good buy.
WELL THIS IS A SMALL PRINTER, GOOD FOR SMALL OFFICES OR EVEN HOME, I HAVE ONE AT MY WORK, AND USES PRIMARY TO MAKE PRICE LABELS, IT WORKS WELL, ITS FAST, THE TONNER HAS A GOOD LIFE TIME, IS SILENT, AND EASY TO CONFIGURE AND TO CHANGE TONNERS.
The quality of the print i could say 9 on the letters and simple grafiks but a 3 on photo gfx, so i can recomend this printer for simple print letters or labeling printouts. And as a laser printer is very light, so you can carry arround from home to office if you whant.