Dell C1765nfw Colour Multifunction Printer review
single-pass colour LED, 15ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 338x410x379mm
Dell's C1765nfw is a colour multifunction peripheral (MFP) built around a compact laser-class printer, except it actually uses LED light to create the page image. The results are comparable, but LED-based systems have fewer moving parts and are more compact. The space-efficient printer certainly helps keep this MFP to a manageable size and weight; it isn't much bigger than the largest inkjet MFPs, so it's a practical choice for a home office.
The C1765nfw has both wired and wireless networking, along with features such as a fax modem and a 15-page automatic document feeder for making multiple-page copies or faxes. In the base there's a simple paper input tray with a 10-sheet bypass for special media. The output tray is tucked under the lip of the control panel, but you can tilt the scanner bed up if you need better access. The only notable omission is automatic duplex (double-sided) printing.
Dell doesn't make great claims for this printer's speed, and it certainly isn't all that fast to print black text, not quite reaching 11 pages per minute in our simple 25-page letter test. It's slower still when printing colour, but here its 6.5ppm speed on our graphics-heavy colour test compares pretty well and it's far quicker than most inkjets. The results are more impressive when you factor in print quality, which in our tests was extremely good. Black text had the dark, crisp outlines we expect from a laser, while colour graphics were vibrant and free from banding, exhibiting an even sheen from the toner.
You can use a browser to connect to the C1765nfw and administer it
This MFP's scanner was very slow in our tests whether connected via USB or Wi-Fi. Its 42-second preview time is one of the slowest we've measured, and while low-resolution scans were merely sluggish, high-resolution work was glacial: our 1,200dpi scan of a 6x4in photo took four minutes. It's unusual for an office scanner to have a 1,200dpi optical resolution, however, and the results at 600dpi and above were rather good, with accurate focus and good detailing.
Dell's scan interface is comprehensive, but it would be improved by auto-marquee and auto-exposure features
Document scans at lower resolutions were acceptable, but imperfect exposure led to a blue colour cast in some areas of white paper. Black and white photocopies were good, but colour copies looked a little washed out. Using the ADF, a 10-page mono copy job took one minute and 10 seconds, but colour copies were far slower, with the same test taking over four minutes.
This isn't a bad multifunction if you don't need high speeds, as it offers acceptable all-round performance and great print quality. Unfortunately it has very high running costs. Even calculated using Dell's “high capacity” supplies, which are only rated for 2,000 pages (black) or 1,400 pages (colour), each page of mixed black and colour graphics comes in at a whopping 17.8p. That’s more than twice the running costs of a comparable inkjet. Unless you must have a laser, we'd choose Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4535DWF, an inkjet alternative that's much cheaper to buy and run.