I've been on the lookout for an inexpensive laser printer, and the Samsung ML-1610 caught my eye. At a little under P4,000 (USD80), it's certainly the cheapest that I've seen.
Questions whirled through my mind: would it support Linux? how many pages would I get? how much is the toner? would I be able to get cheap toner refills? Top of mind, I really wanted to try it out on Ubuntu to get a feel for it.
Luckily, my friend Jameson had just recently bought one.
So I headed over to Jameson's house tonight, plugged in the ML-1610 via my USB port, and crossed my fingers. Voila! Ubuntu 6.10's default CUPS daemon recognized the printer immediately. It was a simple three step configuration to set the printer up. Yay!
My first test was a page of pure text from a PDF document. It rendered correctly and came out pretty quickly. Double-yay!
But then I hit a snag when I attempted to print a graphic document from Inkscape. The ML-1610 simply barfed. I converted the drawing to PNG and PDF, and attempted to print it from both OpenOffice.org and Evince. Still no go. What a letdown.
Was the problem with OO.o? I tried another purely text document, and it came out okay, so obviously Writer wasn't the problem. In the end, it was just that silly little graphic.
Perhaps using Samsung's proprietary driver will help. I didn't have time to figure that out, though. In the end, I've really made up my mind to buy the printer. It's just so darned cheap, and as far as text printing goes (which is what the bulk of what I intend it for), it's pretty okay.
As to my other questions:
Linux support: yes, partly. I still have to check out Samsung's own drivers, but native support is already there.
How many pages I would get: about 1,000 pages using the starter toner the printer comes with, and about 2,000 pages with the replacement toner. Sigh. A little dastardly to be shipping a less-than-full toner with the printer, but that's the way these printer companies operate. Regardless, it's still cheap.
How much would the toner cost: Samsung replacement toner cartridge is about P3,500 (nearly as much as the printer!), but I can get it refilled for P800.