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Dell C1765nfw Colour Multifunction Printer review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £311
inc VAT

A decent colour LED MFP that's spoiled by huge running costs


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.

Dell C1765nfw Paper Output Tray

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 C1765nfw Copier Function

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.

Dell C1765nfw Network Screen

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 C1765nfw Scan Image Options Tab

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Maximum native print resolution 600x600dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200×1,200dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 15ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 12ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 1m 10s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 1m 26s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 338x410x379mm
Weight 15.5kg
Noise (in normal use) 52dB(A)
Duty cycle 30,000 pages (maximum)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 190gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 160
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 160
Duplex (code, cost if option) No


Printer technology single-pass colour LED
Language(s) host-based
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Maximum printer memory 128MB
Other laser features and options two, three, four or five-year next business day onsite warranty available – includes fuser maintenance

Buying Information

Price £311
Price per colour A4 page 14.4p
Price of 2nd paper cassette N/A
Warranty one year next business day

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 42s
A4 document at 150dpi 44s
A4 document at 300dpi 50s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 1m 1s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 4m 10s
Single 35mm negative at 2400dpi N/A

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 30s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 39s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 4m 9s

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Copier zoom range 25-400%
Max mono copy resolution 600x600dpi
Max colour copy resolution 600x600dpi

Fax Features

Fax modem speed 33.6Kbit/s