Within 20 minutes of opening the package containing the Samsung ML-2165W, we were printing complicated legal documents that would hold up in any court. It's one of the best portable inkjet printers to come through our office.
The package comes with instructions, a user guide and a CD with the user manual and drivers. However, we didn't use any of it. We simply plugged the printer into a power source, then into the USB terminal of our test computer. The computer detected the printer automatically and downloaded the necessary drivers. We loaded the tray with paper and started printing. This Samsung printer is plug-and-play at its very best.
The Wi-Fi component of the printer is a bit more complicated than the USB option. Upon powering up the device, a new option appeared in our Wi-Fi network options labeled "Portthru." You do have to set up the printer through the normal procedures, making sure your computer recognizes the new hardware, but that only takes a few seconds. Once we did that, we were pleased to find that this printer is its own Wi-Fi island, with no need to connect it to an existing wireless network.
Samsung provides free apps for iOS, Android and Windows 7 devices that allow you to print photos and documents directly from your device. However, these are more complicated than the simply plug-and-play connection to the computer, and in our testing we were unable to get a document to print successfully.
This Samsung printer is small and portable. This is a double-edged sword because the load and print tray are less than a foot from each other. While putting the printer through its paces, we had to baby sit the whole process because if the print tray got too full, printed pages would fall out of the tray and onto the floor. One of the documents we printed was a 70-page legal document. Had we left the printer for a moment to get a cup of coffee, we would have come back to a mess of papers all over the test lab. When you're dealing with large, complicated projects, you don't want a printer than can disrupt the page order of documents.
For a printer this size, the load tray is surprisingly large. However, it becomes another baby-sitting issue if you're printing documents with high page counts. If the tray runs out of paper and you're not present to immediately replenish its supply, it can turn into a real hassle.
In truth, we spent most of our printing job pulling pages off the print tray before it got too full and making sure the load tray was full so running out of paper didn't interrupt the process.
At the end of our analysis, we believe that the Samsung ML-2165W is a good portable printer. It's best used for smaller jobs with low page counts. If you routinely print anything beyond 20 pages, consider buying a machine with a larger print tray.