A mono laser multifunction printer is often all the automation needed in a home or small office, particularly if that device includes print, scan, copy and fax functions. Dell has a number of printers like this and the 1135n is a neat, unobtrusive machine, which could easily sit on the end of a desk.
The low-profile Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on the top of the scanner lid can take up to 40 sheets of 75gsm paper and the lid hinges lift, so you can copy from books and other bound media, as well as from single sheets of paper. The counterbalance spring to the lid could be stronger, though, as on several occasions it closed itself when we were trying to position pages to copy.
The control panel runs the full width of the machine, in front of the scanner, and includes a 2-line by 16-character LCD display, without a backlight, but with enough contrast to be seen under normal overhead lighting. As well as three, illuminated mode buttons for fax, copy and scan, there’s a full numeric pad for fax dialling and Start and Stop buttons for copy, scan and fax jobs.
Although there are no single-click fax numbers, you can set up to 200 quick-dials in the machine’s address book. There are also two special-function buttons at the left-hand end of the control, one of which calls the reduction and enlargement functions, which offer useful scalings like A4 to A5 and A5 to A4, as well as more standard percentages.
There’s also the facility to print two-up or four-up, putting several A4 pages at reduced size onto an A4 sheet, which is useful for saving paper in archives. This function is handled separately from reduction and enlargement, though, which is a bit counter-intuitive.
The second special-function button enables both sides of an ID card to be scanned and printed on a single A4 sheet, which might be handy in very small HR departments. The main paper tray can take up to 250-sheets of plain paper and there’s a single-sheet feed slot for envelopes and special media, to supplement this. At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet, as well as for a phone line and an optional, third-party handset.
The single-piece drum and toner cartridge slots in from the front, after you’ve folded down the front panel, and is literally half a minute’s work. Dell provides drivers for Windows and OS X on the supplied CD and you can also download Linux drivers from the Dell site. Software includes a scan and fax manager, so you can preset where scanned documents will be saved.