All printer companies are trying to work out how they can make best use of the Cloud and how they can make money from it. In Dell’s case, the latest idea is the Document Hub and the C2665dnf is the first multifunction printer to give access to it. Designed for a workgroup or small business, it’s a colour laser with many trimmings.
This is a big, black box with a scanner on top. The scanner has a 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and this can scan duplex, though with only a single scan head pages have to make three passes to scan both sides and retain pagination.
The control panel is dominated by a 110mm LCD touchscreen, which supports press and swipe gestures and is assisted by a number pad for fax and various function keys. At the right-hand end of the controls is an NFC logo, where you can tap a card to make quick authentication.
NFC works with Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets for printing, but although Dell’s publicity suggests otherwise, this is only if you install the optional wireless print adapter. The Windows 8.1 platform is anyway a very small part of the total pool of devices that might be required to connect. There are many, many more Android devices supporting NFC than Windows 8.1, so Dell needs to widen the printer’s compatibility.
Dell’s Document Hub is a document collaboration service which connects the printer and other devices to popular Cloud storage services, such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and SharePoint Online. It amalgamates them so you can access all with a single password and look for documents stored on any service with a single search. Dell also offers services like OCR in the Cloud, currently free, but chargeable from next year.
You can access the Document Hub directly from the touchscreen of the C2665dnf, or by using a free downloadable app though, again, only for Windows 8 machines. Other versions will apparently follow and they certainly need to, if the Document Hub is to be a true base for sharing files in a Bring Your Own Device world.
At the bottom of the front panel is a 250-sheet paper tray, and there’s a pull-down 150-sheet special purpose tray, too. An extra 250-sheet tray can be added as an option.
The four toner cartridges are stacked like a staircase behind the front cover and it’s straightforward to replace any of them. At the back are USB and gigabit Ethernet sockets and a place to plug the optional wireless adapter.