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Dell started marketing printers in 2003 and, even if you don’t use Dell PCs, the range and prices of its printers mean you should consider them in their own right. Most Dell printers are manufactured by Lexmark, and the design of the 1110, reviewed here, suggests this is one of them. The 1110 is Dell’s entry-level mono laser, coming in at under £100.
This printer is small and light, taking up very little room on the desktop when closed. To print from it, you need to open it up, though, which involves unfolding a paper support from the output tray on top of the machine, and opening the front cover, which then forms the input tray. Even then, it has a small footprint and can easily sit on your desk, alongside a PC.
There’s no paper cover to protect the paper when it’s loaded into the 1110, which is a shame. It means you either have to remove and store the paper whenever you’re not printing, or put up with any dust/dandruff/coffee that falls on it, if you leave the printer open.
On the printer’s top surface, there are just two indicators, for power and error conditions, like paper jams. Various combinations of flashing show when data’s being received and pages are printing. There’s a single control button, which cancels the current job. At the back are sockets for mains power and USB 2.0 - the only data link available on the machine.
The integrated drum and toner cartridge slides right into the 1110, almost to the back, So far in does it have to go, that it has a fold-out handle so you can get a better grip – but it’s still easy to install. The small size of the laser engine makes you wonder whether a more radical design couldn’t reduce the footprint still further. Vertical paper feed and output trays, mounted one behind the other with the engine between them, as some older HP and Samsung designs used, could make for a very small Dell/Lexmark device.
Software installation is a piece of cake, as there’s only the driver, an electronic user guide and a reorder applet. The latter is a marketing tool which triggers when the toner gets low and takes you to the Dell supplies site, so you can reorder a replacement cartridge in good time.
The driver is surprisingly well adorned, given the price of the printer, and offers watermarks, overlays and up to 16 pages per sheet. Although there’s no automatic duplex facility, there is guidance for manually printing on both side of the paper.