Why would you pay over £500 for a mono laser printer, when you can get a decent machine for a fifth of the price? There are two main reasons: speed and running costs. If you must have your documents quickly and you want high yields from your consumables, the price of the printer itself rises quite steeply. Dell's 3330dn is, we guess, designed for small, busy workgroups who need both of these features.
We can only guess this is the target market, because this fast, capable machine comes with a standard print tray of just 250 sheets - less than that if you use standard 80gsm office paper. This is really silly, as if you're after a printer rated at just under 40ppm, it must be because you have a lot of documents to print in the course of a day. Even if those documents are short, you're going to be refilling this machine far more often than you should, unless you invest in the optional 550-sheet second tray, of course.
This is a big, square-cut printer, Dell black and with a large desktop footprint. Even with its large size, it manages to cover its control panel with every page it prints. The control panel itself is well laid out, with a four-line, bitmapped and backlit LCD display, menu controls and a number pad for secure printing via PINs. While this is handy, it would be more useful if combined with a front panel USB port, for walk-up printing. Sadly, there's no such port.
There is a USB port at the back, of course, along with a 10/100 Ethernet connection and a legacy parallel socket, so the 3330dn can be set up in many different environments.
Pull down the front panel and you have access to the combined drum and toner cartridge. The toner cartridge clips into position on the drum, as they each have different service lives. Cartridge replacement is a two minute job and, unlike paper replacement, won't be needed often.
Dell supplies drivers for both PCL and PostScript and for Windows, Mac OS 9.2 and OS X, UNIX, NetWare and several Linux distributions. There's also a copy of Bonjour, as well as Dell's supplies monitoring applet.