The Dell 1720dn is a low-cost mono laser printer that provides fast, high-quality prints for small offices or work groups. For $300, you get a built-in duplexer and Ethernet networking, as well as low print costs. The $350 Samsung ML-3051ND offers the same print quality but faster text prints (and slightly slower graphics prints), a 50-sheet multipurpose tray, and a straight pass-through. If these extras are worth the $50, go for the Samsung. Otherwise, the Dell 1720dn is a great choice for its target audience. If duplex printing and networking aren't high priorities, the baseline $200 Dell 1720 is a good option for home offices.
The Dell 1720dn is a blocky, charcoal gray printer with no-nonsense, all-business looks. It stands 15.6 inches wide, 13.6 inches deep, and 10 inches tall, and weighs just more than 25 pounds. It ships with a 250-sheet paper tray, though you can expand the input capacity with an optional 550-sheet drawer. A slot just above the tray serves as the manual feed tray, in which you can feed single sheets of media. It has adjustable paper guides to facilitate feeding different sizes of paper. The 1720dn lacks a straight pass-through, which is great for thicker media that may be problematic for the printer's rollers. The Samsung ML-3051 has this feature. The printer's control panel is simple: just a continue button and a cancel button, as well as several LEDs to alert you to problems such as paper jams.
Dell offers both standard and high-capacity toners cartridges for the 1720 models and has a use-and-return program that offers a discount to users who return spent cartridges. The standard cartridge yields about 3,000 pages for $100 ($70 through use and return) and the high capacity version yields about twice that number for about $130 ($90 through use and return). Dell estimates that per-page costs are as low as 1.67 cents, which is excellent. The 1720 printers have a monthly duty cycle of about 25,000 pages, which makes it a good fit for a small to medium-size work group.