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Dell B2360dn review

Network-ready sub-£200 laser printers with highly capable paper handling facilities aren't particularly thick on the ground. But Dell is looking to partly recify that situation with the quietly impressive Dell B2360dn mono laser printer.

And it achieves this without being particularly sizeable. At 14.1kg, it isn't terribly light, but its 399 x 382mm footprint is relatively compact, and takes up less deskspace than most of the B2360dn's competitors in the printer charts. That's despite some very significant paper-handling capabilities. See all budget printer reviews.

It includes a substantially built 250-sheet tray, plus a 50-sheet multipurpose feed. And if 300 sheets isn't enough for you, you can bolt on an optional 550-sheet tray, and bolster its capabilities to 850 pages. That's an awful lot of potential for a £180 printer. See Group test: what's the best budget printer?

The 550-sheet tray will set you back an extra £115, but that still adds up to less than £300 - which, for a 850-sheet network laser, would be remarkable.

The specified duty cycle of 80,000 sheets a month is ample for a small business model like this one.

The Dell is built to melt into the background, and its crisp black casing looks relatively sophisticated. Add some subtle angles to the top of the printer, and the look is understated but pleasing.

The centrally mounted control panel is fairly easy to grasp. This being a business laser, you don't get any home-friendly features like a large colour display or touch-sensitive controls. However, the menu options are well designed, and the simple left/right and select buttons work effectively.

256MB of memory is included. That’s a handsome amount for a sub-£200 model, although you won't be able to increase it yet more, so for really large jobs you may prefer a more expensive printer.

The Dell B2360dn comes with both USB 2.0 and gigabit ethernet support as standard. You also have the option of adding an external wireless adapter for an unusually reasonable £40 - we're pleased to see Dell have kept the options to realistic prices - and this will allow you to print from Android devices as well.

Should you want a high capacity laser printer, but not need network capabilities at all, a cut-down version, the B2360d, can be bought for a saving of around £42.

Dell promises a print rate of 38 pages per minute. We didn't get close to this, although the real-world figure of 22.8 pages per minute.  So it didn't reach the 26.1ppm of the sensationally fast Kyocera Mita FS-1320D, but 22.8ppm is still a very respectable figure, especially for a sub-£200 model.

With auto-duplexing engaged it slipped to just 12.5ppm, but this is still about acceptable for those who want to save paper costs and trees.

The Dell doesn't offer outstanding print quality, but the characters are reasonably dark and moderately well defined. For pristine text you'll want to look to something at a higher price point; for everyday text churning the B2360dn hits the mark. It's rather disappointing on graphics, but you're unlikely to be buying a sub-£200 mono laser for this kind of work.

The Dell's running costs are quite acceptable, with the high-capacity toner cartridges producing a cost per page of less than 1.8p.

The Kyocera and Xerox Phaser 3320 are cheaper models, but not by an awful lot. It is well worth paying the £150 up-front for the high-capacity toner - you can get the lower capacity version for almost half the price, but this will push the costs per page up to a rather extortionate 3.4p.


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