Summary

Our Score

7/10

Pros

  • Card readers and USB/PictBridge
  • Neat, inset ADF
  • Eco print option

Cons

  • High running costs
  • No duplex print
  • No dedicated Eco button

Review Price £100.00

Key Features: Full fax functions; Easy maintenance; Wireless connection; High yield ink cartridges; Bitmapped LCD display

Manufacturer: Dell

Not too long ago, we reviewed Dell’s P513w all-in-one, designed for family and student use and sporting a colour LCD screen and no Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). The same company’s V515w does away with the colour screen, but offers an ADF and full fax facilities in its place.

This is a mainly matte black machine with high gloss highlights on top and a white keyline about halfway down which extends around the machine and the edge of its control panel. It looks very smart and is enhanced by the design of the ADF, which is set into the top panel rather than being raised above it, as is more normal.
Dell V515w
Both feed and output trays for the scanner are horizontal, so you might think the output tray would be difficult to get at. In fact, though, a cutout at the end of the feed tray and a corresponding depression in the scanner lid mean it's very easy to remove scanned documents.

The main print feed tray is at the back and is again easy to get at, though it's more exposed to dust and coffee than a front-mounted cassette would be. Paper feeds to an extending tray under the control panel.

The control panel is standard stuff for a budget office machine, but it does include a bitmapped mono LCD panel, which can show small graphics as well as text. Behind the display is a row of mode buttons and in front are navigation keys. To the right is a numeric pad for fax dialling and at the extreme right is a single Start button, combined with a toggle, which switches from black to colour print.
Dell V515w - Controls
While there's no dedicated Eco button, the option is available from the printer's menu and will dim the LCD and switch to power save mode after predetermined times. The printer doesn't print duplex, so that's not an economy option. An inset panel to the right of the output slot offers a card reader for SD, MemoryStick and xD cards, as well as a socket for USB and PictBridge devices. Dell sells an optional Bluetooth adapter which fits this USB socket.

Both USB and wireless connections are available on the machine, but don't get too excited by Dell's ‘Print from anywhere’ headline, as it hasn't gone the same way as HP and Kodak with remote printing. Instead, it just means ‘anywhere within your Wi-Fi network’s reach’. Software includes Abbyy FinerReader OCR and drivers for the printer and scanner.

The twin ink cartridges, one black and one tri-colour, clip into the head and although the spec sheet lists both the series 21 and series 23 cartridges, Dell only appears to sell the higher yield, series 23.

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