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Dell Multifunction Color Printer 1355cnw review: Dell Multifunction Color Printer 1355cnw

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Most laser printers have an upper door that pops up to reveal the toner bay, but Dell moved the 1355cnw's access door to the right side, so take note of this to prevent obstruction in your work space. The 1355cnw takes one black cartridge and three color cartridges for cyan, magenta, and yellow, and Dell gives you a full spread to start off with.

Each cartridge yields 700 pages, which factors out to 7.1 cents per black page and 7.8 cents per page of color. These prices fall within the average cost of consumables for an officeworthy printer, and Dell also sells high-capacity toner cartridges at a discount: $70 for more than double the page-yield maximum of the standard cartridges.

The Dell 1355cnw isn't the fastest in the speed comparison tests, but it performed consistently and competently with little deviation between each type of document. It printed 12.84 pages of plain black text pages per minute and scored similarly throughout.

It still can't keep pace with the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn in terms of black text, color graphics, and a 10-page monochrome slide presentation, but you'll notice little difference between the two unless you're printing out a stack of pages. I also rarely see such consistent performance across all four speed tests, and the Dell printed a color text page nearly as quickly as a full page of color graphics.

Printing speed (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Black graphics  
Black text  
Dell 1355cnw
Samsung ML-2851ND
HP LaserJet P1606dn
Brother HL-2270DW
HP LaserJet Pro M1217nfw

Compared with other color laser printers, the Dell 1355cnw fared well when it came to grayscale text and graphics as well as full-color graphics documents. Smaller fonts that would normally appear illegible printed by cheaper models appear dark and crisp using the Dell, and monochromatic graphics illustrate the same attention to detail with smooth gradients and adequate depth in portraits and photographs. On the other hand, the best-quality color laser printer won't deliver the level of detail you would get from a five-cartridge inkjet printer if you're outputting high-resolution photos. Still, I'd certainly recommend the 1355cnw for professional color handouts.

Service and support
The standard warranty for the Dell 1355cnw lasts one year, but you can upgrade it to up to four additional years. Dell also provides free, toll-free phone support 24-7, but the company recommends trying the live online chat option first. For less urgent inquiries, you can e-mail Dell's support team or check out its user forums. Dell's Web site also has product-specific support in the form of online user guides, drivers and software downloads, and a troubleshooting tool.

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