Dell 3335dn Review
- Duplex scanner as well as print engine
- Fast print and copy at over 30ppm
- eMail and FTP direct from machine
- Small 250-sheet paper tray
- Tall for office use
- Not cheap
- Review Price: £582.00
- 178mm touch panel
- 14,000 page, high capacity toner cartridge
- Front panel socket for USB drives
- PostScript and PCL drivers
- 1,200dpi enhanced print
This is a big machine with a substantial scanner mounted quite high above a workgroup size mono laser engine. The scanner comes with a 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), capable of duplex scanning.
The printer section has a 250-sheet paper tray – too low a capacity in our opinion for this level of office machine – with a 50-sheet multipurpose tray which folds down and pulls out directly above. If you need higher capacity, you can add an optional 550-sheet tray under the printer, but we’d prefer to see a 500-sheet tray as standard.
Physical buttons are restricted to a number pad for fax dialling, together with start, stop and home buttons. The main touch panel has a soft feel, as if overlaid with a plastic film. It’s still reasonably sensitive and the main screen displays buttons for copy, fax and e-mail. There are also buttons for FTP and for printing or searching held jobs.
As this is a network machine, the e-mail and FTP facilities are useful additions as, for example, you can scan a multi-page job and send it directly to any computer where you have permissions.
The 3335dn can be connected locally to a PC, but this wastes many of its workgroup functions. Much better to use the 10/100 Ethernet link and share its capabilities. Dell provides a status monitor and printer alert, as well as PCL and PostScript drivers for both Windows and OS X. Linux is also supported, via a separate download.
A two-part print cartridge slots in from the front of the machine and comprises a drum unit, with a typical service life of 30,000 pages, and alternative toner cartridges, with yields of 8,000 and 14,000 pages. You won’t need to replace consumables in this machine very regularly… though you will need to restock it with paper.
One of the reasons for the apparently high price of the 3335dn is its rated speed. Dell pitches the Lexmark-made machine at 38ppm and we got somewhere close to this under test. Our five-page text document returned 21.4ppm in both normal and draft modes and, coincidentally, this is what the text and business graphics test also produced. A 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 sheet came through in 27s.
On the longer, 20-page text document, it reached 32.4ppm, which is a very good throughput for a desktop multifunction. When it comes to duplex printing, a standard feature of the print engine, the 3335dn only manages about half the top speed, at 16.7 sides per minute. Even this speed though should mean many documents can be economically printed double-sided.
When it comes to copying, the machine can produce a single page from the flatbed in 15s, which is quick. More impressive, though, is the time of 19s for a five-page document from the ADF. Since the ADF can scan duplex, we also ran our 5-page, 10-side duplex copy, which completed in 59s.
Print quality is very good on text. A standard mode print is 600dpi, ‘enhanced’ to 1,200dpi, which is enough to remove jagged edges from curves and diagonals. Greyscale graphics are reasonably smooth, though some grey shades come out too similar to distinguish between different colours in an original.
Also, typical of many current scanners, scanning greyscales produces very blotchy fill patterns, which aren’t pretty. Our photo test piece was fair, though areas of shadow reproduced black.
One thing you should bear in mind is that the scanner has a maximum resolution of 600 x 300ppi when scanning colour, so you might have problems if trying to scan a photo for enlargement.
Using the higher yield toner cartridge and sourcing toner and drum from different suppliers gives a best case cost per page of 2.2p, including 0.7p for paper. This is a good, low cost, though that’s to be expected in a machine at this price.
If you need a fast, hard working multifunction machine which can print, scan and copy double-sided documents, Dell’s 3335dn certainly fits the bill. You pay a lot for a faster machine, but in this case the extra speed is close to what it says on the box. We’re not sure the large touch panel is entirely necessary, but it’s certainly easy to use and should make training quick.
Score in detail
Print Speed 9
Print Quality 8
|Connection Type||Ethernet, USB|
|Extra Features||Duplex print, touch panel controls|
|Number of Catridges||1|
|Sheet Capacity||250 + 50 sheets|
|Print Resolution (Dots per inch)||1200 x 1200dpi|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||38ipm|
|Max Paper Weight||163g/sm|
|Print Without PC||Yes|
|Scan Resolution (Dots per inch)||600 x 600dpi|