Dell sells many printers, as they fit in well with the company’s sales of business and consumer PCs. By and large they’re good machines, too, but they’re not made by, or even designed by, Dell. They’re made for the company by specialist printer makers like Lexmark and Samsung, and many will have only slight adaptations from the versions sold by the original manufacturers.
The 1133 is a mono laser multifunction printer designed for the small office. It’s textured black casing with high-gloss borders looks neat and functional and the full-width control panel provides plenty of space for display and controls. There's a 2-line by 16-character LCD display, a square of navigation keys with an OK button in the centre, three different function keys and three larger buttons to start, stop and switch off the machine.
The function keys provide print enlargements, scan facilities and a special function to scan both sides of an identity card and print it out on a single sheet – useful in human resource departments.
Below the control panel is an exit slot for printed documents and the scanner section of the machine lifts up slightly, so you can get your hand inside in case of paper jams. There's a small extension and flip-up paper stop, but in practice you probably won't need this. At the top, the scanner lid has an extending hinge, so you can scan pages from books as well as single sheets.
At the base of the front panel is a 250-sheet paper tray with a single-sheet multi-purpose feed directly above this. The tray capacity is fine for the kind of use the 1133 is intended for and the multifunction slot is a useful extra. When printing, though, the machine can curl the paper slightly and it started to register a full output tray after printing just 20 pages in a single job.
At the back, there's a single USB socket, as this machine comes with no Ethernet connection. There's no mention of a Dell print server, either, so you would have to look to a third-party if you need network functionality. Drivers are provided for Windows, OS X and various Linux distributions, including RedHat. The Samsung utility SmarThru 4 is provided to handle basic scan and print jobs from a Windows screen.
The printer takes a single-piece drum and toner cartridge, which slots in from the front, once you've pulled down the front cover. Cartridges are available in 1,500 and 2,500 page capacities, though the machine is supplied with a slightly stingy 700-page ‘starter’ cartridge.