Expensive in the long run.
- Cheap price tag, simple to use, USB and Web-based administration, decent scan quality
- High running cost, slow print speeds, poor print quality
The speed and quality of Dell's 2135cn are nothing to shout about. Though its price is a big incentive, we would prefer to spend a little extra on getting a more capable unit.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The Dell 2135cn's main selling point is its initial price point. Beyond this, unfortunately, there isn't much to get excited about. While the unit offers reasonable functionality and good scan quality, numerous shortcomings make it an average multifunction at best.
The multifunction's features are standard fare. The unit has a maximum paper input capacity of 250 sheets, with a fairly resilient monthly duty cycle of 40,000 pages. Unfortunately, it lacks an automatic duplex function, instead offering two different manual duplex options.
The 2135cn's design is ugly but functional: the scanner with automatic document feeder is elevated above the rest of the unit, the printer's toners are easily replaceable from a side door and the imaging unit sits at the front for easy maintenance. There are some design choices we disliked — the control panel sits higher than usual on the printer, and because the paper output tray faces backwards retrieving printouts is a hassle.
The controls and user interface are basic. Dell has opted for a simple layout involving a five-way navigation pad, four quick access buttons, a numeric keypad for use with the 2135cn's fax function and a basic three-line monochrome display. Users can control basic copy, scan and fax functions, as well as retrieve essential status and network information.
One pleasant surprise is the comprehensive administration options available when the printer is connected via USB. Many manufacturers rely on a Web-based interface for remote administration, but Dell's Toolbox software provides users with the same kinds of options over USB. The unit still has a Web-based interface, which includes an e-mail alert function.
Print speed is average for a laser printer, with the 2135cn managing to print a mono document at 16 pages per minute and a colour one at 12ppm. Though HP's Colour LaserJet CM1312nfi is a slower and more expensive printer, its 1200x600dpi hardware resolution at least compensates for its lack of speed; the 2135cn is limited to a comparatively paltry 600x600dpi.
Print quality is somewhat disappointing. Text is readable but slightly inaccurate due to the hardware print resolution and the printer's inability to print in half-tone gradients. As a result, text is darker and characters aren't well-defined. Colour also suffers from accuracy issues, resulting in under-saturated colours that lack vibrancy. The quality of colour printing will suffice for many uses, but it is not up to a professional standard.
One redeeming aspect of the 2135cn is its scan quality. Scans are crisp and detailed at 600dpi, though they are slightly brighter than the source image. The unit performs well with both text and pictures, showing none of the flaws common to low-end multifunctions.
One of the major deterrents with Dell printers is their running costs, and the 2135cn is unfortunately no exception. The multifunction attracts a running cost of 23.85c per page, which rivals the consumable costs of inkjets. Though Dell's 2135cn is one of the cheapest units on the market, the running costs are sure to outweigh the initial cost savings.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
- Why won’t my printer connect to my wireless router?
- 3D printer owners rate the best 14 machines
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCSAP FICO Support AnalystWA
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- CC.Net Developer - SilverlightVIC
- CC.NET Developer!QLD
- CCExecutive SupportWA
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSolutions ArchitectSA
- CCSenior Commercial AnalystNSW
- CCInside Sales ConsultantNSW
- CCTSM SpecialistNSW
- CCData Migration ManagerQLD
- FTSolutions Architects - 10 roles availableACT
- FTInfrastructure Analyst - Storage & Backup SystemsNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCLevel 1 IT Support OfficerACT
- TPDevOps ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTC# / ASP.NET DeveloperSA
- FTL&D ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior Technology SpecialistVIC
- FTDevOps - Web AdministratorQLD
- FTSenior Security AnalystACT
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - Infrastructure ProjectQLD