There are a number of different colour laser printers out there with a number of manufactures making them, Dell being one of those to offer a machine that can meet the needs of office workers. One of those printers from Dell is the C2660dn, designed for anything from a small home office, to a medium sized workforce office.
Make no mistake by that statement however, this printer is pretty huge, featuring a jet-black design the top of the printer features an indent for the output paper tray, alongside a number of different openings that provide access various printers functions and spaces.
On the bottom of the printer there is a large input paper tray which can hold up to 250 sheets of paper, just above this is a multi-purpose folding tray that can hold an extra 150 sheets and then if that isn’t enough you can then add an extra tray for space for another 550 sheets, bringing the maximum sheet count to 950 sheets, our test unit did not have that last option however.
On the top of the printer just next to the output tray there are a number of control keys, a numeric pad and a four-line backlit LCD display.
To finish the design of the printer off, on the back there are a number of ports that allow for connectivity via a USB cable, Gigabit Ethernet cable and the power port. You can also add an optional wireless extra to the printers board which can be accessed via an opening on the side of the printer.
For our testing we simply plugged the printer into our router via an Ethernet cable and then accessed it via network connected computers.
When needed you can also access the four tiered toner cartridges from both a front cover panel, and from a removable panel on the right hand side side, however you only really need to open the side panel when the fuser unit needs maintenance or when a maintenance pack needs to be fitted, but since that maintenance period is once every 100,000 pages you might not need to at any point.
Getting back to the cartridges, there are four that are needed for the printer, one for the black, one for cyan, one for yellow and one for red.
With your printer you will also get a set of software that will allow you to easily manage the print and set it up for your network via your computer.
In terms of printing speeds Dell claims that the C2660dn can achieve a top speed of 28ppm, however in out 20 page tests (one for short documents and one for long documents) we found the printer finished in between 13-15ppm for short documents, and between 20 and 23 for longer documents.
In duplex mode the printer is still very speedy, printing at about 16 sides per minute. This still goes on with colour photo printers which come out of the printer just a few seconds after you have clicked the print button.
However these speeds are all assuming that the printer is warmed up and ready to go, to get out of sleep mode and start printing the C2660dn takes about 20 seconds to warm up.
Once you have received your printed page you will however be impressed, text in sharp, detailed and easy to read and colours end up bright and solid, making them look smooth and almost like it is being displayed on a screen.
However prints do not come cheap for this printer, with black toner costing around £35 for the high yield toner and around £50 for the normal toner, each page costs around 3.5p per page for the high yield version and around 5p for the normal version of the toner.
For colour pages this price increase a little, if you assume that you are using all the ink available you will need to spend around £155 for all of the high yield toner units, and around £215 for all the normal toner units, colour pages cost around 15.5p for a high-yield print and around 21.5p for a normal print.
For the actual printer you need to splash out around £280 for the printer itself depending on where you go, a price which I would definitely say is worth it, as this printer is definitely one of the best you will find for the small office.
However if you’re thinking about getting one for the house, maybe try something that doesn’t cost as much for the ink.