Same basic design
The $199 ML-1430 retains the same functional design as its forebear, with a compact (13 by 13.9 by 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 8MB 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.
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, however, as the printer ships without either.
Faster, better printing
Not surprisingly, the ML-1430, rated at 15ppm (pages per minute) compared to the ML-1210's 12ppm, posted faster times in CNET Labs' tests. Its 11.3ppm text speed and 11ppm 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-point 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.
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 .03 cents per page, which is cheap. Enabling the Save Toner button on the control panel will (Samsung claims) extend the life of the toner by 1,000 pages, 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 a.m. to 6 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.
Editor's note: This page has changed from our original version. Please see the corrections page.
|Laser printer speed|
Pages per minute; longer bars indicate better performance
|Laser printer quality|
The Samsung ML-1430 delivered sharp output at speeds comparable to, or even faster than, those of more expensive models from HP and Brother.