SAN FRANCISCO (10/08/2003) - WHAT'S HOT: When we first unpacked the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. ML-1750 we were impressed by how tiny it is--only about 14 inches wide by 14 inches deep and 7 inches high. The US$249 price tag also made a great impression. The on-screen documentation proved clear and thorough. The printer churned out graphics at 7.4 pages per minute--fast enough to keep up with some corporate lasers.
WHAT'S NOT: Though it prints graphics fast, the ML-1750 prints them poorly. Narrow parallel lines look scratched up and uneven, while grayscale photos are nearly indecipherable. Samsung's 3000-page toner cartridge costs $80, which works out to a stiff 2.67 cents per page, based on the company's yield estimates. To add insult to injury, the ML-1750 ships with a miniature starter cartridge that will poop out after only 1000 pages. We appreciate that the ML-1750 has an extra slot for running a sheet of letterhead without emptying the main tray, but that slot would be more convenient to use if it had a paper support so you wouldn't have to hand-feed it.
WHAT ELSE: The ML-1750 prints text at a practical, if not blistering, 12.4 ppm, though the text looked too light to read comfortably for long stretches. Not content with just a USB port, Samsung endowed the ML-1750 with a parallel port as well, so if you haven't upgraded your PC for some years, this printer may be one of your few choices among lasers. In addition to thorough on-screen documentation, the printer comes with what looks like a hefty printed manual but is really a hastily cobbled together brochure repeated in a bunch of different languages. By the way, last we heard, Samsung was rushing to upgrade a buggy driver, so if you buy the ML-1750 off the shelf you should probably ignore the CD and download a new driver from Samsung's Web site.
UPSHOT: If you're looking for a bargain printer--or just one equipped with an old-fangled parallel port--the ML-1750 should fill your bill.
Rated 17-ppm monochrome laser, 8MB RAM standard, 1200-by-600-dpi maximum resolution, 250 sheets input, 50 output.