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Dell 1320c Color Laser Printer review: Dell 1320c Color Laser Printer

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The Good Inexpensive; fast color prints; great text print quality; single-sheet manual feed slot.

The Bad Slow black prints; black prints need to be darker; color graphics printing could use some improvement; memory and paper input are not expandable; no auto-duplexer.

The Bottom Line The Dell 1320c is a decent choice for a small office or work group, but a little more cash will net you a faster printer with better print quality.

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6.7 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7
  • Support 8

The Dell 1320c is a low-cost, color laser printer geared for small businesses or work groups. The $300 USB-only printer is slower than its competition with black prints but picks up the slack on color prints. Though not without its faults, the print quality is sufficient for most business uses. If you print a ton of black text documents, you're better off with the $400 Lexmark C500n, and if you want a better balance of print speeds between color and black, try the $400 Oki C3400n. The Oki's print quality is a bit better than the Dell's, too.

The Dell 1320c's design is basic and straightforward, befitting its small-office role. The dark gray printer sits 15.6 inches wide, 16.6 inches deep, and 14.8 inches tall, and weighs a bit less than 40 pounds. The control panel is limited to two buttons (cancel and continue) and a graphic representation of the printer with LEDs that light up to indicate where a problem is occurring. For example, the paper tray area icon lights up when the tray is open, and the four toner icons light up if toner is running low--useful since the printer lacks a text LCD.

The main paper tray holds 250 sheets of regular paper, and a single-sheet manual feed slot resides on the front of the paper tray. The input capacity is not expandable on this model. The top-mounted output bin holds up to 150 sheets.

The four toner cartridges are hidden behind a panel on the right side of the printer. The cartridges for this unit are small and lightweight. Pulling them out, however, causes toner to dust your desktop--you've been forewarned. Each cartridge comes in two capacities: 1,000 prints and 2,000 prints. The small black costs $45, and the small color cartridges cost $59 each. The larger versions of each cost $60 and $79, respectively. Using the larger cartridges for best value, we calculate that a black-only print costs about 3 cents and a full color page costs about 15 cents. Both costs are reasonable, though slightly higher than those for the Oki C5500n. The monthly duty cycle is 35,000 prints.

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