The Bottom Line
- Super fast
- Great text print quality
- Works over a network
- Built-in duplexing
- No wireless networking
- Limited functions
- Up to 28 pages per minute
- Monthly duty cycle of 30,000 sheets
- Roughly 1.8 cents cost per page
- Toner-save function
- 32MB memory, expandable to 150MB
Guide Review - Samsung ML-2851 Laser Printer
Speed isn't everything, of course, and if pages don't come out looking good, then all the speed in the world is worthless. That's not the case with this printer. I compared pages printed out at the default setting (600 dpi) with pages printed at the printer's best setting, 1200 dpi, and couldn't tell the difference between the two. Text looked crisp and sharp, and even when I printed 72-point text at both resolutions, I couldn't see a remarkable difference. That's good news for users, since it means there's little incentive to use extra toner even for premium print jobs.
The printer has a Save Toner print setting. I compared the text at 12 and 72 points with the other versions I had printed out, and again I wasn't able to see the difference. That's even better news, since Samsung claims that setting will extend toner cartridge life as much as 40 percent.
Printing a PDF page that included a color photo and colorful graphic took about 10 seconds at the default setting, and both the photo and the graphic looked decent, though there was a small amount of streaking in the graphics. In this case, printing at the higher resolution made a big difference, with the graphics looking excellent.
The printer can be accessed across a wired network but not a wireless network, which is a shame but not completely unexpected with an entry-level printer. It's about $100 less than the Brother MFC-7840W, so it's a great printer for the price; but for that extra money, the Brother has a fax, scanner, copier, and wireless networking.