C2665dnf Color Multifunction Printer
Speedy; impressive output quality; excellent features and control-panel interface
Very pricey toner, especially colours; one-year warranty is skimpy for an office product
Everything about the Dell C2665dnf colour laser multifunction is top-notch: capacity, speed, output quality and features. It’s even got a classy new interface for its 4.3in touchscreen. At $867.55 it seems like a dream come true for any small workgroup. But if your office frequently prints in colour, the toner prices will wake you up out of a sound sleep. The costs for black toner are somewhat better.
Printing from cloud services is a unique feature
The C2665dnf is tall, straight-angled and dark grey, but not so much ominous as handsome. The colourful touchscreen display features a brand-spanking new interface, with the 2D, flat look to its icons that’s in vogue at the moment. It’s easy to navigate, however, the scroll bars are thin and a hard to spot. Beyond that, the menu structure and controls are very well-thought out. The C2665dnf is easy to set up and supports USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet. The software is minimal, and the driver is as well. Some of the Windows software has acquired the Windows 8 look, some has not, but it looks as if Dell is headed in that direction. Paper handling features on the C2665dnf are excellent, with a large 250-sheet input tray, a 150-sheet multipurpose tray, automatic two-side printing (duplexing), as well as a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for the letter/A4-size scanner. There’s an optional 550-sheet, bottom-mounted cassette to expand capacity. The scanner will automatically scan two-sided documents and push-scan to PCs. Secure printing is supported, as well as email and Wi-Fi printing. Dell’s Document Hub lets you print documents directly from SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Driveand other online storage services with the surprising omission of iCloud. Drivers are available for the Mac, but that’s about it. The C2665dnf also supports NFC printing, a new and still unusual way to pair a phone with a printer for direct sending of jobs. Owners of iOS devices should know that the C2665dnf is AirPrint compatible. The C2665dnf is fast and then some. It blew through our monochrome pages in short order, spitting them out at 16.6 pages per minute on the PC and 16.1 ppm on the Mac. Snapshot-size (4 x 6in) photos printed at four per minute to plain paper and three per minute on glossy laser stock. Full-sized photos printed from the Mac took only 43 seconds apiece. Copies emerged at a lively 6.3 per minute. Scan speeds were middling, taking almost a minute to scan a full-page photo at 600 dpi and 24 seconds to scan a smaller, cropped section at 1200 dpi. On the other hand, the scans were better in quality than most we’ve seen. The C2665dnf’s output is impressive for a colour laser printer. You expect the text to be crisp and sharp, but colour graphics also excelled, seeming remarkably inkjet-like (that’s a good thing). The colour temps are a bit warm, but there’s little graininess and no banding defects. The C2665dnf will allow you to forgo a colour inkjet as an adjunct unless you’re heavily into photography.
Toner costs are high, especially colour
Don’t buy the C2665dnf unless you’re going to print a lot, and you have the money to invest in the large capacity supplies. Even then, you’re getting no bargain. The regular 1200-page cartridges cost US$77 per colour (CMY) and US$68 for black. That’s a massive 19.2 US cents per page total for the colours, and 5.7 US cents for black. Nearly 25 US cents for a four-colour page puts the C2665dnf among the most expensively supplied printers we’ve reviewed, including US$50 inkjets. Fortunately, when you use the US$141, 4000-page colour and US$100, 3000-page black, this drops to 3.33 US cents for black per page and 11.25 for the colours. A 14.5 US cent four-colour page is bearable, though hardly cheap. You can knock another cent off both those numbers if you opt for the US$136, 6000-page black cartridge. Every 60,000 pages or so you’ll need a new set of drums to the tune of US$150, or an additional 0.2 US cents per page. The c2665dnf is rated for a 50,000-sheet duty cycle, with real world usage between 700 and 4000 sheets a month. The unit is warrantied for a single year, which is short for an office product. Optional support packages are available for up to five years at US$360. The Dell C2665dnf is feature-complete, fast, and a flat out pleasure to use. However, there will be no joy in Toner-ville when you strike out for new supplies. by Jon L Jacobi, Macworld