Dell rates the 2155cdn at 23ppm for both black and colour print, but we didn’t see quite these speeds under our tests. Our 5-page black text print took 23s, giving a real-world speed of 13.0ppm but, on the longer 20-page test this increased to 18.5ppm. This is a very respectable speed for this class of machine and is not that far off the claim.
The colour speed is not as close and our 5-page black text and colour graphics test gave 12.5ppm, only about half the rated speed. The printer offers duplex print as standard and this is surprisingly quick, racking up 14.1 sides per minute, when we ran our 20-page document in duplex mode.
A single page colour copy took 20s and a 5-page black text copy 33s, both of which are very respectable speeds. The printer buffers scans well, so the scanner doesn’t have to slow to the speed of the print engine. A 15 x 10cm photo at best quality took 23s and a larger photo, almost up to A4, took 17s from a USB drive at normal quality. For all its large size, and relatively high speed, it prints quietly, with a measured peak of 61dBA.
Both the photo images were surprisingly good for a laser printer, though as is often the case, we saw some loss of detail in darker areas. Colour graphics are bright and attention grabbing and there was surprisingly little difference between a colour print and a copy taken from it. Black text from the 600dpi engine was clear and sharp, living up well to the expectations of laser print.
Toner cartridges are available in two capacities, of 1,200 pages standard or 2,500 pages high-yield, with the high-capacity, black cartridge offering 3,000 pages. At the best price we could find, page costs come out at 3.7p for black and 13.6p per colour. Neither of these are particularly good, when compared with similarly specified machines from, for example, HP.
Dell’s 2155cdn is very good value if you can get it at the price quoted here, from Printerbase. For under £300 you're getting a full-colour duplex laser printer and a comparatively high resolution flatbed scanner with ADF. Text and graphics prints are good quality and they come through surprisingly quickly for a colour machine.