It wasn’t all that long ago that high-volume color laser printers ran well upward of $1,000, with some as much as $2,000 or more. In addition, color prints on these models, in terms of the per-page cost of consumables (here, toner cartridges) often cost more than 20 cents each. It’s no wonder that so many businesses depended on FedEx and other service bureaus when they needed laser-quality color prints.
Relying on service bureaus, though, is costly in other ways. First is the time and fuel wasted with trips to the store. Getting your files there, pre-proofing to make sure colors are right, picking up the print job, and so on, all take more time. Plus, if something changes, such as, say, a sale price or product specification, your only recourse is to throw away leftover prints and print new ones—and that’s costly, too.
If you print and distribute color documents often, having a color laser in-house is much more convenient, and here’s where products such as Dell’s 2012-release C3760dn Color Laser Printer can make your life easier. This high-volume workhorse, $649 at the time of our review, prints faster than nearly every printer in its class that we’ve tested, with superb-looking output, and it costs less on a cost per page (CPP) basis than most competing models. It’s even faster and cheaper to use than our Editors’ Choice winner, the $749.99 Samsung CLP-775ND (a high-volume, multifunction print/copy/scan/fax color laser), which we reviewed back in October 2011.
Alas, no printer is perfect, but the C3760dn comes close. Our primary concerns center on cost. Because this is a single-function model, its $649 price seems a touch high for what it is. In addition, to get Wi-Fi connectivity, you must purchase an adapter (more on this in the Design & Features section on the next page), adding to the overall cost of the machine. Still, this model’s low CPP numbers—especially for monochrome pages, which are what most businesses print most often—are attractive. If you use this printer a lot (compared to most other high-volume models), you’ll make up these costs and start saving money sooner than you might think.
And that’s where the C3760dn makes the most sense—high-volume printing over the long haul. When buying a workhorse printer like this one, what you pay for each print should be a bigger overall consideration than the purchase price. Combine this model’s lightning-fast printing, and its excellent-looking documents, graphics, and photos, with its low CPP, and the C3760dn comes up a great printer and a terrific value.
Read the full review at Computer Shopper.