Dell claims speeds of up to 33ppm in mono and 30ppm in colour for the P713w, but you should ignore these. In draft mode, we saw nothing faster than 6.1ppm, though this was beaten by our 20-page normal mode text document, which reached 6.7ppm. Our standard, five-page text test gave 5.1ppm and the black text and colour graphics test returned 4.0ppm.
These are fair speeds for this class of inkjet printer and it’s a shame Dell feels they need hyping up. The printer supports duplex and although it needs to pause between sides of a duplex page, a 20-side document still managed 4.0 sides per minute. A colour photocopy took 45s and 15 x 10 cm photos took from 42s to 49s, with the longer time recorded in best quality mode.
Text print is generally pretty good, with few artefacts other than slight fuzz around emboldened headings. Draft print is lighter but still very acceptable, though it doesn’t provide much of a speed advantage. Colour graphics are bright and dense and a colour copy is only slightly lighter than the original.
Photo prints show good strong colours with no overall cast to any shade, though there’s slight over-saturation, particularly in dark areas of images.
We’ve criticised Dell on a couple of occasions for the very high cost of its toners and inks. When we reviewed the P513w, we noted that 7.8p for a black page and 16.6p for a colour one were much higher than from its competition. Well, Dell has since put the cost of its colour ink up, so the equivalent costs for the P713w are now 7.8p and 17.8p.
We continue to think these page costs are excessive, when competitors in the same market cost less than a quarter as much to run. You are paying dearly for the low purchase price of the P713w.
At first sight the P713w looks like a bargain. Considerably cheaper than the Lexmark equivalent – though the Lexmark has an ADF built in – it’s easy to use and offers above-average print quality. Speed is also well up to the mark against its main competition, but the possible deal breaker is the very high consumable cost. Most people won’t want to pay the best part of 20p per colour page.