Dell 2145cn colour laser
A versatile multifunctional printer – surely not?
Review Dell’s 2145cn is a mid-range multifunction device, designed for small office and modest workgroup use, but includes several, big-machine functions. Unusually, it’s also built around a colour laser engine.
Dell’s 2145cn: multifunctional with duplex printing and scanning
There’s only one thing you can be pretty certain of with a Dell printer – it’ll be black. It could come from a variety of sources – Lexmark and Samsung are favourites – and be either good or poor value, but it’ll not have coloured covers. The 2145cn is tall enough to be slightly awkward on the desk, particularly if you add the optional, 500-sheet paper tray.
In fact, you’re probably going to need this, as the machine comes as standard with capacity for only 250 sheets, which is barely enough. Even with the 100-sheet multipurpose tray, which swings down from the front, you’ll still be filling the main tray too often.
Set on top of the printer section is a substantial scanner, complete with 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which is a much more sensible capacity. It’s a duplex scanner, too, so can scan both sides of a document in a single job. Indeed, duplex scanners are rare on machines in this price-range.
In front of the scanner is a well laid out set of controls, centred around a two-line by 16-character LCD display. To the left of this is a set of up to 30, quick-dial fax buttons and to the right is a number pad for less frequently faxed contacts. In between display and number pad are special function keys for enlargement, duplex print and USB print, among others. At the extreme right are large, coloured buttons for starting and stopping copy and scan jobs. All pretty obvious stuff, which makes the 2145cn easy to use, with little specialist training needed.
Well-configured control panel, with plenty of fax options
Just below the control panel on the right is a USB drive socket, for walk-up printing. There are two schools of thought on walk-up print. It’s certainly very convenient to be able to bring files to a printer on a pocket drive and produce copies directly, as it is to scan material straight to file. It does represent an obvious security risk, though, even if access is protected via PIN, as it can be here. However, once you have access, there’s little to stop you scanning paper documents to the USB drive.
The running costs quoted are incomplete. In Powersave mode, Dell says that it uses "18W or less" so it will cost up to £18 per year just to have it plugged in.
Colour laser a dead technology? What is in the wings to replace it? Wet inks are a thoroughly troublesome technology (leaving pages to dry, taking as long as an old dot matrix to output a page, tiny cartridges due to the problem of ink drying out, etc) and offset printing isn't exactly suited to a home or office setting.
I would be more inclined to say inkjet tech is ready to be superseded!
"Indeed, duplex scanners are rare on machines in this price-range."
But, apparently, they are easy to find on much cheaper machines - I (and in fact a few of my friends/family) have a Canon MP-8xx which does quite a nice job of scanning duplex, at well under the 500-odd quids this thing costs.
Running cost not high?
"Using the high-yield figures gives costs per page of 2.51p for a black page and 10.5p for a colour one. Neither of these page costs is particularly high, when compared with other machines aimed at the same market. "
OUCH! Run a mile!
Seriously, if that's for industry-standard 5% coverage, it is considerably higher than for an HP Officejet 8500 MFC, which will also give you much superior colour reproduction for half the starting price. Which just leaves speed as its advantage.
I think Colour Laser printing may be a dead technology, except for high volume printers costing a good four figures. Mono headed the same way, though it can still save on ink/toner if you really never want colour.
Yellow pixels @Fred Flintstone
Oh,they are there all right, to catch any very stupid wannabe-forgers.
The problem for a forger reduces to how to acquire a printer in such a way that its unique serial number doesn't lead to his arrest. Since a forger is by definition willing to break the law, this is not much of a problem. And before he distributes any of his forged currency, he will of course have disposed of the incriminating printer in a similarly untraceable manner.
Makes you wonder whether they were really trying to catch feedleminded forgers at all, doesn't it. Or is it just another sign of an incipient police state, such as ID and "child protection" and DNA databases, omnipresent CCTV, the government putting itself above the law, and attempting to define everyone except themselves as guilty until we prove ourselves innocent?
And do the powers that be have access to black printers with programmable serial numbers? I'd be very surprised if not. Watch out for someone being smeared by the "fixed at manufacture" serial number of his printer and a matching pattern of yellow pixels on a letter that he denies writing. It's only a matter of time.
Yes, that's a black helicopter. With yellow microdots.