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Refurbished Samsung M2820DW Laser Printer Review

I recently bought a refurbished laser printer off eBay. I’ve always had a good experience with manufacturer refurbished items. Note that the following may not apply to you if you are buying one of these brand new.

eBay Buy it Now M2820DW
$50 with free shipping, seems like a good deal.
box contents
It came in a generic brown box, with the contents shown. Power cord and USB cable included.
closeup box contents
One of the pieces of paper expressly disclaimed any Samsung warranty. Interesting, as refurbished HP printers, for example, have a warranty, albeit a very short one compared to normal. There was also a setup CD, which looked like it had been written on a burner rather than printed. It served.
incorrect quick start card
There was a beautiful Quick Start card included with the printer. Unfortunately, it was for a different model of printer, so the pictures didn’t quite match.  My printer is monochrome, so only has one toner cartridge.  Also, no scanner attachment on top.
release button
A button at the top releases the front door.
front of printer is open
The quick start card called for installing the toner cartridge as step 1, but I found that one was already installed in the printer. I pulled the cartridge out to make sure the sealing tape was taken off, and it looked completely ready to go, so it put it back, and closed the front door again.
paper tray adjustment
The paper tray needs adjustment to accommodate US 8.5″ x 11″ letter paper. Squeeze the lever indicated by the arrow, and look for the designation “LTR” in the circled window.
letter size is loaded
The paper try is now loaded. Note that the side to be printed first is the one facing DOWN. That means when I’m printing onto the back side of junk mail and other paper that is blank on only one side, the pre-printed side must be facing UP.
must accept data gathering agreement
I put the CD into my Windows 7 machine and this popped up. I tried unchecking the box authorizing Samsung to collect my data, and the installation appeared to proceed, but wireless installation always failed, including installation via WPS button, and Samsung’s own setup program. The error message gave no clue that I needed to check the box.
back of printer
On the back of the unit, there is the possibility of connecting via USB or Ethernet cable, in addition to the included wi-fi interface.

For initial setup of the wi-fi connection, I still needed to connect a USB cable, in order to enter the wi-fi password, if nothing else. The WPS button on the printer simply did not work right. Once the USB cable was connected, and the setup program was run on Windows with the data collection box checked, installation proceeded without additional trouble.

I also tried to set up the printer using Linux, which required downloading a different setup program from samsung.com . I was unable to make that work on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. As I have successfully installed other printers (including other Samsung printers) on Linux before, I believe the difficulty is Samsung’s fault, if only for poorly documenting how to do it. Once the printer was installed via Windows, however, Linux could find it and print to it. Note that Samsung provides no drivers for non-PC Linux machines, notably a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian, which uses the armhf (hard float) architecture.

I have no idea how well the installation process would work on a Mac.  But again, once the printer was installed via Windows, the Apple devices in our household had no trouble finding and using it.

I did try the hard-wired Ethernet jack, and that worked fine. As far as other computers were concerned, that was indistinguishable from using wi-fi. But wi-fi is more convenient for me, as the printer is not tethered to one spot in the house by a LAN cable.

bad test page
This was one of the first pages printed. Note the streaks, which coincidentally seem to correspond to each rotation of the printer drum. I thought that perhaps it was just excess toner buildup somewhere, so I blew some air into the drum area of the cartridge in an attempt to clean it. About a dozen pages later, the streaks were still there, and had not lightened at all.
good test page
When the toner cartridge was exchanged for another, print quality was normal. I suspect that the cartridge supplied with the printer may have been damaged in transit, as it was pre-installed in the printer, rather than sealed in its own protective package. I gave this feedback to the seller. One of these days, I may attempt to clean the streaky cartridge.
sheet feed door release
Push on the textured area on the front to open the single sheet feeder door.
single sheet feed
The single sheet feed door is open. One thing I don’t care for on this printer is that it doesn’t grab and hold the paper as soon as I insert it. I suppose that saves power somehow, but I’m used to having the printer wake up and hold the paper as soon as I feed it in. This model forces me to very carefully lay the sheet there, and hope that a breeze doesn’t dislodge it before printing starts.

This printer has a duplexer, so will print on both sides of a page. I tried it, and it works. Of course, to print on both sides, one must use paper that is blank on both sides.