A940 all-in-one centre

Dell now offers its own branded laser printers and multifunction devices to customers, and the aim is to make these products as simple to use as possible. This is achieved through intuitive, easy-to-install software, excellent service and support, and online ink ordering.

Astute readers will notice that the A940 looks very similar to the Lexmark X5150, which we have previously reviewed. When we tested that unit we liked the excellent driver package and feature set, and this Dell unit is no different. Installation was a breeze, although it will only work under Windows XP, and the user interface allows common tasks to be executed efficiently. Ink monitors constantly tell you exactly how much is left before you need to order more.

The unit can print, scan and photocopy, and fax (as long as your PC has a fax/modem). Quality options and copy settings can be manipulated from the control panel of the unit.

The unit printed a 12-page Word document in 2 min 54 sec (normal mode), but the text output, while adequate, lacked sharpness. Even at the highest quality mode it did not get clearer.

Photo output was very good, though, especially considering the low cost of the unit, and a full-page A4-sized photo printed in 9 min 31 sec. A 300dpi A4 scan will take just 26 sec to get to your PC, and a photocopy at normal quality will come out in just over 1 min.

Priced at $199, the unit uses one each black and tri-colour cartridge, which cost $49 and $59, respectively, and they have stated print yields of 600 black pages at 5 per cent coverage, and 450 colour pages at 15 per cent coverage. It does not ship with a USB cable.

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Elias Plastiras
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