Samsung ML-3710ND review
mono laser, 35ppm print speed, USB, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 253x366x368mm
Samsung says that its new workgroup mono laser can rattle off 35 pages per minute and handle a maximum of 80,000 pages each month, which ought to make it ideal for a busy small office. While the company's personal laser printers are often stylish, the ML-3710ND's corrugated grey plastics are less eye-catching, but at least everything feels strong. There's a four-way switch to navigate the two-line LCD menu along with job cancel and 'Eco' buttons.
Unusually for this class of printer, there's no mechanical off switch, but the soft-off button reduced power use to just 0.1W, so it's far more effective than most. While the Eco button sounds like a gimmick, it's a quick way to switch everyone using the printer to economical print settings; the default is toner saving, automatic duplexing and two pages per sheet, which fits four sides onto each sheet of paper, potentially cutting paper use by 75%. Users can override and print with their typical settings if they prefer.
The ML-3710ND has a 250-sheet paper cassette, with an additional 50-sheet multipurpose tray that folds down at the front. The pick roller in the multipurpose tray has a plastic shield to prevent stray fingers or ties getting drawn into the printer – a thoughtful touch. When extended to take A4 paper, the cassette is slightly too deep for the printer body, but there's a clip-on cover at the rear to keep it free of dust. An optional second tray boosts the total paper capacity to 820 sheets.
With a fast print engine, 128MB of memory and a 600MHz processor, this is an impressively quick printer. From sleeping, the first page of text dropped into the 150-sheet output tray just 16 seconds after we had sent the job. With the printer on standby this first page out time dropped to 10 seconds, with all 25 pages having printed just 40 seconds later. Things were just as impressive with our mixed graphical document; although spooling the job took a few seconds longer, there were no mid-job pauses and all 24 pages had printed within 54 seconds.
The quality of the results was above average for a laser, with perfect text and competent greyscale graphics let down only by some banding and visible dithering in photos. Paper handling was flawless during our tests, although envelopes were printed with some crumpling on the trailing edge.
One of this printer's best features is its driver, which makes it particularly easy to use. The main options are laid out over four tabs with self-explanatory titles. The Paper tab is one of the smartest we've seen, containing two small sub-tabs that let you quickly navigate paper and envelope presets to match the loaded media.
With just a single consumable, maintenance ought to be similarly straightforward. The printer is supplied with a 5,000-page unit, and 10,000-page replacements are available for £130. The resulting low running costs help the impressive ML-3710ND win our Best Buy award.