Recent months have seen printer makers bring out ever-cheaper colour lasers aimed at the home/small-office market, but there's still an important role for more heavyweight models. The Dell Colour Laser 3110cn, for example, offers full Ethernet facilities as standard, and can handle a duty cycle of 60,000 pages per month. This is very much a printer for businesses.
- Very low running costs, very expandable.
- A little expensive outright, not the greatest hardware resolution.
The Dell isn't cheap, but its running costs are among the lowest available. Add strong output, some heavyweight specifications (with options that'll beef it up considerably) and network support as standard, and you have an excellent colour laser that should go down extremely well with small and medium-sized businesses.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The Dell's robust casing and large dimensions (it's even bigger than the Lexmark C522n) hint at the power within, and there are plenty of options to push the 3110cn's capabilities still further.
It comes with a 250-sheet input drawer as standard; combine this with the multipurpose input tray and optional drawer and the Dell can handle a massive 950 pages. Up to 250 printed sheets collect neatly in the top of the machine, so large jobs won't be an issue. A generous 128MB of RAM is fitted as standard, and this can be boosted to an enormous 1152MB.
This printer doesn't have the greatest hardware resolution -- it's trumped by a number of models (some considerably cheaper), but image quality is what counts, and the Dell offers very smooth definition. The text isn't as dark as it might be, but characters are well-formed and easy to read, and a speed of 20ppm (pages per minute) is excellent.
The Dell is also good at colour graphics, producing A4 images at 7.9ppm -- not quite up there with the similarly priced Lexmark C522n, but an impressive performance nonetheless. At a slower pace, you can coax fantastic colour images from this printer.
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