By Kristina Blachere

The Samsung ML-1430 is a great budget laser because it doesn’t simply settle for being affordable. Due to ship in July, it improves significantly upon the ML-1210 it replaces, offering better output quality, faster print speeds, and—best of all—the same, low price tag. Check the latest prices on the Samsung ML-1430.

Same basic design
The $199 ML-1430 retains the same functional design as its forebear, with a compact (13 x 13.9 x 9 inches), uninspired, white plastic case and vertical input and output trays. Even the Demo, Cancel, and Save Toner buttons on the front panel are the same as before.

The ML-1430 also has the same budget trade-offs as before. Neither its 8 MB of installed memory nor its paper capacity (150-sheet input, 100-sheet output) is upgradable. Some parts feel flimsy, including the flexible plastic band that holds the front panel open for changing toner cartridges and an extension to the output tray that sits loosely in a slot on top of the printer. It’s definitely meant for no more than two people to share, and rough handling would be risky.

Figure A
Samsung’s ML-1430 was rated an 8 out of 10 and received a CNET Editor’s Choice award.

Simple installation
However, the ML-1430 is easy to set up. The handy Quick Start poster and installation CD provide clear setup and usage directions. The printer supports Windows 95 and up; numerous flavors of Linux, including Red Hat, Caldera Open Linux, Debian, and more; and Macintosh OS 8.0 or later. The CD also comes with a detailed user guide and a copy of Adobe Acrobat for reading it. You’ll have to buy your own USB or parallel cable, though, because the printer ships without either.

Faster, better printing
Not surprisingly, the ML-1430, rated at 15 pages per minute (ppm) compared to the ML-1210’s 12 ppm, posted faster times in CNET Labs’ tests. Its 11.3 ppm text speed and 11 ppm mixed text/graphics speed made this humble $200 printer as fast or faster than the $400 HP LaserJet 1200 and the $300 Brother HL-1440.

As with the ML-1210, text output was excellent, staying crisp and legible, even down to a 3 pt font size. The ML-1430’s graphics were also slightly darker than the ML-1210’s (which we considered too light). However, photos lacked crispness and detail; the printer had some trouble with shading on the dark end of the scale.

Frugal consumables
While the ML-1430’s meager 1,000-page starter cartridge is another result of the printer’s reasonable price, in all other respects, this machine’s low cost of consumables will appeal to frugal users. Printing in Standard mode, the regular 2,500-page cartridge costs $69.99 or about three cents per page, which is cheap. Enabling the Save Toner button on the control panel will extend the life of the toner by 1,000 pages (Samsung claims), with the trade-off of slightly lighter output.

Samsung’s support offerings for the ML-1430 are typical for the industry: a standard one-year warranty and toll-free phone support available Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. PT for the life of the printer. The Samsung Web site also offers the latest drivers, user manuals, FAQs, and contact information.

The Samsung ML-1430 cannot entirely shake the budget rap, given its lack of expandability and other cost-cutting measures. But its stellar print quality and swift print speeds still amount to one of the best laser values for the money.

CNET Labs performance
The Samsung ML-1430 delivered sharp output at speeds comparable to, or even faster than, those of more expensive models from HP and Brother (see Tables A and B).

Laser printer speed

Table A
Pages per minute; longer bars indicate better performance

Table B

Complete specs
Click here to check the latest prices on the Samsung ML-1430. Table C lists the specifications for the Samsung ML-1430.
Table C

Printer type Personal
Printer form factor Desktop
Technology Laser
Printer output type Monochrome
Max resolution (b&w) 600 x 600 dpi
Printer speed 15 ppm
Compatibility PC, Mac, Unix
Processor 66 MHz
Physical Characteristics
Depth 16.8 in
Height 9 in
Width 13 in
Weight 13.7 lbs
Media Handling
Monthly duty cycle / Users qty 12000
Expansion / Connectivity
Port(s) / Connector(s) required 1 parallel IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) / 36 pin Centronics male – 1,
1 x serial USB / 4 pin mini-USB Type A female – 1
Scanner type None
Copy type None
Memory / Storage
RAM installed (max) 8 MB
Modem / Networking
Networking None

This article was originally published by CNET on June 6, 2002.