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Dell 3335dn Review

Verdict

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Pros

  • Duplex scanner as well as print engine
  • Fast print and copy at over 30ppm
  • eMail and FTP direct from machine

Cons

  • Small 250-sheet paper tray
  • Tall for office use
  • Not cheap

Key Specifications

  • 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

Touch screen controls are being used in a wide variety of devices, from phones to cameras to tablets. They’re also increasingly being used in printers and all-in-ones, so it’s not that surprising to find one in this Dell 3335dn office multifunction, though a panel with a 178mm (7in) diagonal is unusual.

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.
Dell 3335dn

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.

Dell 3335dn - Controls

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.

Dell 3335dn - Trays

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.

Dell 3335dn - Cartridge

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.

Verdict

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.

Dell 3335dn - Feature Table

Dell 3335dn - Speeds and Costs

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Print Speed 9
  • Features 9
  • Value 7
  • Print Quality 8

Features

Networking Yes
Card slot None
Connection Type Ethernet, USB
Extra Features Duplex print, touch panel controls

Physical Specifications

Height (Millimeter) 531mm
Width (Millimeter) 488mm
Depth (Millimeter) 438mm
Weight (Gram) 22.7g

Printing

Type B&W Laser
Duplex Yes
Paper Size A4
Colour No
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

Functions

Scanner Yes
Copier Yes
Fax Yes

Scanning

Scan Resolution (Dots per inch) 600 x 600dpi

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