If you don't fancy a full-on, office-sized laser printer, but still need to be able to produce high-quality black and white documents, Samsung has you in its sights for the ML-1865W. It's one of the tinchiest laser printers on the market, so it's ideal for use in smaller home offices, and it can be bought online for around £80.
Easy does it
The 1865W is around half the size of a normal laser printer (at 341 by 224 by 184mm) and with its paper trays closed it can easily be stored away even on a small shelf. Decked out in glossy black, it also looks a little more stylish than your average office model.
Despite the printer's small dimensions, its power supply is housed internally, so you don't end up with a huge power brick sitting on the floor next to it. The version we had in for review includes integrated Wi-Fi too, but there is also another version available that drops Wi-Fi and costs a little bit less as a result.
Setting up the 1865W really is child's play as it comes with a 700-page starter cartridge pre-installed. When you do come to change the cartridge, you'll find the process very straightforward, because it simply lifts out of the belly of the machine. There's even a handle on it to make it easier to grip.
On the software front, you get a CD with the printer driver plus an application called AnyWeb Print. The latter is a sort of digital scrapboard utility that lets you grab bits of text and images from around the Web and drag them into a scrap board in your browser where you can then re-arrange and edit them for printing later.
On the wireless
Installing the printer over either Wi-Fi or USB is pretty painless. You simply load up the driver first on your computer. Then if you're connecting via USB you just plug in the supplied cable and away you go.
If you want to set it up to work over Wi-Fi and have a WPS-capable router, you just hit the WPS button on the front of the printer and then do the same on your router. They'll then automatically communicate with each other to configure the required setting automatically. Alternatively, if your router doesn't have WPS, you need to connect the printer to your computer via USB first to configure the Wi-Fi settings.
When you're ready to print, just fold down a flap at the front that forms the paper in tray and then adjust the the paper stop to the sheet size you're using. At the top, you flip up a cover that reveals the paper out try. Both the paper in and out trays can take up to 150 sheets of A4 paper in one go, which is a pretty good capacity for use in a home office.
Proof of the printing
The ML-1865 prints almost immediately rather than spending lots of time pre-processing pages. Working over USB it managed to print our 10-page text document in 48 seconds and spewed out 10 pages of our black graphics test document in 44 seconds. It was similarly fast printing our 10-page test presentation, as it completed that task in 45 seconds.
Print quality from its 1,200dpi print engine is very impressive too. Text was very dark, solid and crisp, with no stray toner making its way onto the page. And while there was some very slight banding visible on the graphics test document, the overall quality was still very good for a sub-£100 printer.
It's a fairly cheap model to run as well. A replacement cartridge is the only consumable you'll need, apart from paper, and a 1,500-page cartridge at the time of this review could be bought for £49 online. With the addition of 0.7p for paper that works out at a running cost of 3.96p per page.
If you need to save on space in your home office, but don't want to compromise on quality, the ML-1865W is an excellent bet. It delivers good quality printed pages at a respectably rapid pace and is fairly economical to run too.
Edited by Nick Hide