Review Price £262.79
Dell 2130cn - Colour Laser Printer
It's not often you come across a printer that looks like a Borg Cube, but Dell has managed to get quite close with the 2130cn. It has much of the monumental disregard for streamlining of the hive-mind-generated original, though without the pipework. As an aside, we never really understood why a trans-warp-capable starship, not obviously powered by steam, should need quite so much pipework.
Outfitted entirely in black, with only a paper-out tray depression in the top surface and a raised, Toblerone-style display panel to disturb its cuboid lines, the 2130cn is a big black monolith. It has a backlit, 2-line by 16-character LCD display and there are seven buttons set into the top cover in front of it to control menu navigation and cancel a print job.
At the bottom of the front panel is a single, 250-sheet paper tray and, although there's a small slot above the tray, it only takes one sheet of special-purpose paper or a single envelope. A second, 250-sheet tray is available as an option and fits underneath the printer. It's already a tall device, though and with the extra paper tray fitted it wouldn't be that convenient to use on a desktop. You'd be better with a specialist stand, closer to the ground.
There's no duplexer as standard in this printer, either, though one is available as another option. There's an ecological argument to be made for all new business printers to be fitted with duplex as standard, to save paper and the energy and trees used to produce it. And, even if you're a cold hearted tree hater, simple efficiency and cost saving are just as powerful arguments, too.
At the back of the printer there are sockets for USB and Ethernet and Dell will also sell you a wireless adapter for the machine, though this is a USB dongle, plugging straight into the single socket. There's no front panel socket for printing from USB drives, which would be a useful feature.
The machine's internal design is unconventional, with the four toner cartridges held behind a door in the right-hand side of the machine and the drum unit fitted at the front, behind a fold-down front cover. This re-thought layout does mean you have to leave more room around the printer than with a more conventional design, but also makes replacing toner particularly easy.
Software installation is simple, as Dell only supplies a PCL 6 driver and only for Windows 2000 and above. There's no direct support for Linux or even OS X - this is a PC printer, pure and simple.