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 2415cn multifunction printer

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.

Dell 2415cn multifunction printer

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.

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