mono laser, 24ppm print speed, USB, 192x360x389mm
Samsung's ML-2525 isn't the smallest mono laser around, but its compact form will still leave plenty of spare room on your desk. It has just a USB connection, so installation is a simple matter of running the setup program on the driver CD and connecting the printer when prompted. It's a typical personal laser printer for the small or home office, but we were pleased with its low noise levels when operating, as well as its 250 sheet paper tray, and 12,000 page maximum monthly duty cycle.
It's quick too, with print speeds of 21.1ppm in our mono text test and 19.2ppm in our illustrated business document test. There are no different quality modes in the driver, but there is a fine edge option, disabled by default, which is intended to produce smoother curves and less jagged edges on fine line drawings. This can often be shown off to good effect by our small font size test.
Fonts of 6pt and below were spidery, jagged and hard to read at standard settings. Enabling the fine edge mode produced clear and solid 6pt text and made 5pt text much easier to read. Text and illustrated document prints at standard quality are excellent, but it's worth using the fine edge mode for line graphs and similar areas of fine detail.
The ML-2525 has a conspicuously low page cost of just 2p per page, based on standard ISO/IEC 24712 figures for toner consumption and Samsung's 2,500 page high yield MLT-D1052L toner cartridge, which costs £49. There are no other consumables. This also gives us low Total Cost of Ownership figures, particularly for medium and heavy use.
Medium users getting through 21,000 pages over three years (750 pages per month) can expect to spend a total of £489 on the printer and its consumables. It's not quite such good value for light users printing 100 pages a month at a total cost of £190 - we recommend that light users look for a printer with a lower initial cost, such as Epson's Aculaser ML1200.
The printer's maximum duty cycle of 12,000 pages indicates that it should be able to cope with heavier use, although our 3,000 page a month heavy usage figures, totalling 108,000 pages over three years, are probably close to the limit of its capabilities for regular use – compact personal laser printers are not our first choice for this sort of volume. If you use the ML-2525 this much, you can expect to pay just £2,199 over three years.
The ML-2525 is an excellent printer, combining low running costs with outstanding quality and a reasonable price. However, Samsung's SX-4600 mono laser MFP is only a little more expensive, has similar running costs and identical print quality, making it a more versatile choice for the home office. If you're a light user on a real budget, Epson's Aculaser M1200 is a good alternative for under £50 and excellent value for light users.