Dell 5230dn laser printer

Dell's 5230dn monochrome laser printer has the speed and features for a busy office

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Dell 5230dn
  • Dell 5230dn
  • Dell 5230dn

Pros

  • Fast, inexpensive toner

Cons

  • High purchase price

Bottom Line

Fast and expandable, and using cheap toner, the Dell 5230dn laser printer is well suited for a high-volume office.

Would you buy this?

The Dell 5230dn monochrome laser printer may cost more up front, but its speed and expandability make it an excellent choice for a medium-size workgroup.

The 5230dn offers plenty of standard features, plus room to grow. It supports a combined 350 pages of input from the main and multipurpose trays. You can add up to three 550-sheet drawers ($345.40 each) and a 2000-sheet drawer feeder ($1381.60) for a maximum capacity of 4000 sheets.

Equipped with USB and Ethernet ports, the 5230dn also has a slot for optional serial or parallel connectors ($90 or less). An empty bay lets you add a hard drive for fonts or forms. The control panel has a 3-inch, four-line, backlit monochrome LCD that can tilt upward slightly, plus clearly labelled buttons, a keypad, and a front USB port.

Built for high-volume printing, the 5230dn has a 200,000-page monthly duty cycle and very good speed. It averaged 23.4 pages per minute on a PC and 21.5 ppm on a Mac when printing mostly plain text with some simple monochrome graphics. Though the text quality was as good as you'd expect, images suffered from a limited greyscale range and slower print times.

A high-volume office needs cheap toner, and the 5230dn delivers that. Replacement use-and-return cartridges come in $229.90, 7000-page standard and $410.30, 21,000-page high-yield sizes, working out to 3 cents and 1.9 cents per page, respectively. Nonreturnable cartridges are available at a significantly higher cost. The printer even ships with a standard cartridge rather than a lower-capacity "starter" unit. Cartridges are easy to remove and replace; the cartridge itself displays clear illustrations, just in case.

A busy office needs a printer that can keep pace. The Dell 5230dn can do that--and it can grow with your business. The inexpensive toner and generous warranty sweeten the deal.

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