Small, light, and inexpensive is the order of the day in this, our third review of Dell’s most recent round of updates to its line of LED laser-class printers. So far, we’ve looked at two single-function models: the and. Here, we’re reviewing Dell’s multifunction version of the C1760nw, the C1765nfw Color Multifunction Printer, which is capable of printing, scanning, copying, and faxing. At the time of this writing (mid-April 2013), Dell listed this model at $349.99 MSRP, but it was discounted on Dell’s Web site by $50, to $299.99.
Before we go any further, though, let’s stop and define some terms. The C1765nfw is not, technically, a laser printer; instead, it’s an LED-based machine. Briefly, the difference between an LED printer and a laser one is all inside: LED is a comparable technology to laser, but it employs LED-based lamp arrays, rather than lasers, to draw the page image to be printed on the machine’s drum. Replacing the lasers with LEDs allows for smaller, trimmer, and lighter printers that consume less energy and have fewer moving parts, without compromising on print quality. Because these LED devices take their lead from laser-printer design, and essentially work the same as their laser counterparts do on the outside, that makes them “laser-class” printers.
The C1765nfw is, to our eyes, essentially a refresh of the Dell 1355cnw that we reviewed back in January 2011. Our take on that model was that, while it printed well enough and fast enough, its low-capacity input tray and relatively high per-page cost of operation, or cost per page (CPP), relegated it to the “personal” printer category. Therefore, it made sense only for small and home-based offices with very modest print volumes—say, no more than a few hundred pages per month.
Now, over two years later, that’s our take on this updated model—except that, considering the more recent competition, this model is now less appealing. New models tend to have snazzy color touch-screen displays, auto-duplexing hardware for printing and scanning two-sided pages automatically, and extensive support for cloud sites. At the C1765nfw’s list price of $350, we’d have trouble recommending it, and even the discounted price of $300 doesn’t make the C1765nfw’s short list of convenience and productivity features, as well as its somewhat antiquated user interface (the control panel), much easier to swallow.
The C1765nfw is, then, a light-duty laser-class multifunction printer. Small and home-based offices that need laser-like speed and output quality (but only now and then) should find it a good fit. If you print more than just a few pages here and there, you might be better off with a more costly, higher-volume model that costs less to use, in terms of per-page toner cost. Besides, nowadays, several laser-class machines are available with stronger feature sets for about the same, or just a little more, money.
See the entire review at Computer Shopper.