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Dell 1355cnw - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Dell rates the 1355cnw at 15ppm printing black and 12ppm printing colour. These are both quite modest figures, but we didn’t see speeds that fast under test. Our five-page black text print completed in 43 seconds, giving an effective speed of 7.0ppm, but this increased to 10.4ppm for the20-page test.

This is still only two thirds of the rated speed and the five-page text and colour graphics document returned 7.3ppm. Interestingly, given this machine uses the same print engine as the 1250c, the speeds here are all a little faster than from that machine. The copy speed is fair, with a single-page colour copy taking 47 seconds and a five-page black text one finishing in 50 seconds.

The print quality is pretty good, with black text coming through crisp and dense. The printer’s resolution may only be 600dpi, but it’s easily good enough for all general purpose office duties. Colour print is also good, with bold, clean colours giving arresting graphs, charts and graphics.

Even photo prints are reasonable, with smooth colour transitions and natural hues. Darker colours are a bit too dark, but even at full page the images reproduced are very serviceable. If you are at all reluctant to buy an LED printer rather than a laser because of stories of poor LED print quality, they’re well and truly refuted by the output from the 1355cnw.

Our main problem with the 1250c was the cost of its consumables, which at 3.9p and 17.7p for black and colour respectively, were well outside the normal range, particularly for colour print. The 1355cnw uses the same cartridges, but we checked the Dell site anyway, in the hope of some reduction. They’ve gone up in price, giving new page costs of 4.3p and 19.9p, both including 0.7p for paper, as before. These are very dear, some of the highest we’ve ever seen in our years of testing.

Verdict

Although the technology is interesting and the size is convenient, the price of both the machine and especially its consumables is eccentric. How does Dell believe it can get away with charging nearly 20p for a colour page, when similar printers are doing the same thing for less than half that, and costing less to buy, too. It’s a real shame, as the machine itself is easy-to-use, well-equipped and produces good print, if a bit slowly. It’s a marketing, not an engineering, fail.

blyndy

November 28, 2010, 1:35 pm

This isn't the best execution of 'blocky' design. Hopefully Samsung or Canon will release an LED multifunction. I look forward to a review of the new Samsung CLX-3186FN though.

jingyeow

November 29, 2010, 3:34 am

I was once tempted to get a free printer with my dell pc, but decided against it, because you could only source the ink for that particular model from them. Why do they bother?

jake120

November 29, 2010, 11:13 am

Over the last few years the entry level, low-end laser printers made by most companies are being marketed like their inkjet cousins. These machines are what I call toner units. As the company makes very little profit on the unit itself and more then makes up for it on the toner.

Paiti

February 4, 2011, 7:52 pm

Does the Dell 1355cnw offer printing for the front and back of a document? I cannot find this option.

annoyed

November 27, 2013, 4:03 pm

Not happy with mine as it has a paper Jam and it cant be fixed by Del as they no longer make it and wont even repair it.
Will this affect my relation ship with Del, yes probably if they don't help me.

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