Sunday, February 5, 2012

Upgraded my home MFP to Dell 1355cn colour multifunction laser-class LED printer from Brother DCP-130C multifunction inkjet printer

I have just replaced my Brother DCP-130C multifunction (print/scan/copy) inkjet printer, which I blogged about it here quite some times ago which has been serving me for about 5 years, to a new Dell 1355cn colour multifunction (print/scan/copy/fax) laser-class LED printer.

The Brother DCP-130C MFP is still functioning well, but I have planned for its replacement to laser printer for quite some time because:
  • its ink is water soluble and hence the printed area will be damaged by any drop of water. This is the weak-point of all inkjet printers using non-water-resistant ink.
  • the printing needs 1-2 seconds or so to dry out, and will be distorted if the printed paper side touched with any kind of surface or object before the ink is dried. This is another weak-point of all inkjet printers.
  • the inkjet print-head need frequent cleaning with its own ink, causing the ink in the cartridge to dry up eventually, even the printer is seldom in use.
  • the ink and its cartridge has short expiry date, especially after taken out from its vacuum packaging.
  • the print quality of laser printer is better than inkjet printer, especially in text printing.
Although the cost of my Brother DCP-130C MFP is just RM199, its ink replacement cost is high.

I have waited until today for the upgrade, because the cost of colour multifunction laser printer is high (normally above RM2k). Beside that, colour laser MFP is usually bulky and heavy.

Until recently, I found out there are 2 such printers selling at the price of RM1699 and also with compact size. They are Brother MFC-9120CN selling in Tech Hypermart and this Dell 1355cn selling in Dell Online Store.

I have chosen Dell 1355cn because reviews from a few sources in the Internet say that the print quality of Brother MFC-9120CN is below average, and the print quality of Dell 1355cn is above average.

Beside the additional fax and network functions, my new Dell 1355cn has much more features and settings than my Brother DCP-130C.

I like its network function. I connected the printer's network port to my WiFi router. This enable me to print from any computers linked to my home LAN, either wired or wireless. In fact, I can also print directly from Android smartphone using the PrinterShare app via Google Cloud Print service. The printer can also send out email alert/report to my email account directly.

There are several ways to do setting and configuration to the Dell 1355cn printer, such as directly using its panel buttons and LCD display, using web browser by accessing the printer from LAN, using a utility program named Tool Box. I prefer to use Tool Box as it is easier to use, and it can do the most complete set of setting, configuration, maintenance, reporting and diagnosis.

Just like my Brother DCP-130C, this Dell 1355cn printer has a USB port in front, enables it to print out photos or graphics directly from thumb-drive or connected digital camera, without using a PC.

The Dell 1355cn's paper input tray can hold up to 150 sheets of paper (compared with 100 sheets in DCP-130C). This is considered low capacity for laser printer, but good enough for home user like me. On top of the standard paper tray is another priority tray which can hold another 10 sheets of paper.

It is possible to set a 4-digit password to access its admin configuration functions, and to set a separate 4-digit password for its copy/scan/fax functions. This is a good feature to prevent children from playing around with the printer panel buttons.

There are many more functions and features of Dell 1355cn to talk about. You can find out more about this printer by reading its manual. At it price, I won't expect sophisticated feature from it, and these sets of functions and features already satisfied me as a home user.

Download user manual of Dell 1355cn colour multifunction laser-class LED printer here.

All in all, I think this printer is a good buy for home user to upgrade to colour multifunction laser/LED printer. If you don't need the colour printing function, the cost of mono B/W multifunction laser/LED printer is even cheaper.

However, there is some trade-off for this upgrade too:
  • Obviously, the new printer price is much higher than its predecessor.
  • The cost of laser toner cartridge is also much higher, but it can print more pages and also last much longer .
  • The power consumption also increased a lot, from the previous inkjet's 20W to current LED laser printer's 320W. Anyhow, 320W is considered very low for laser printer class, thanks to the LED technology which is more energy saving than traditional laser printing, and as a home user I don't print a lot every month.
  • The new printer has almost the same footprint as the old inkjet, as you can see and compare with their photos posted in my blog here. However, the height of the new printer is more than double the previous one.


Rashad Mughal said... Reply To This Comment


I'm really interested in buying this printer, the inks in my inkjet keep drying, but I need a printer thats going to as good as an inject for printing photos - I don't print many really but I don't want it to be obvious that it's the photo is printed by a crappy laser.

Do you think this will do the job? The reviews seem to concentrate on speed and black and white printing, whereas I don't care much for speed, just quality.


Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

@Rashad Mughal

Its color printing quality is above average among the color laserjet printers.

There are many color adjustment options for us to fine tune, and several preset profile to easily adjust the settings. "Standard" is for normal printing, "Print Fine Photo" will consume more toner but produce excellent color photo printout, "Print Business Graphics" is something in-between to print presentable document containing text and pictures.

Adjustable color output settings include: brightness, contrast, chroma, color balance (black, cyan, magenta, yellow), color temperature, gamma correction, ICC profile, etc.

There is also "toner saving mode" to trade-off quality with toner saving, good for draft printing.

One advantage of laser photo printing compared to inkjet is that the toner is waterproof by itself.

Cath said... Reply To This Comment

Rashad, I own an HP printer which prints photos beautifully. If you go on you can select a printer specifically designed for photos. I had a Dell before, which was also nice, but I found that with the HP one, the cost of printing comes out slightly lower.

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