Dell 1250c colour LED printer

Dell 1250c review: This colour LED printer is cheap to buy and prints good quality colour and black documents, but it isn't quick

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Dell 1250c
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Good print quality for both colour and mono documents, low initial price

Cons

  • High ongoing toner costs, slow prints

Bottom Line

The Dell 1250c has good print quality and a low initial price, but its toner is expensive and it prints slowly.

Would you buy this?

The Dell 1250c is a colour LED printer with a low initial price of $319. It is compact compared to many colour laser printers, but it prints slowly and ongoing toner costs are high.

Dell 1250c: Design and setup

The Dell 1250c has a conventional design, with an output tray on the top and an input cartridge at the printer's base. Input and output capacities are reasonably large for the printer's price, with a 150 sheet input tray and space for 100 sheets in the output catcher. The Dell 1250c is rated at up to 30,000 pages per month which should be more than enough for small and medium-sized offices.

Annoyingly, a USB 2.0 cable is not included with the Dell 1250c. You can buy one from Dell's Web site for $19.80. The Dell 1250c also has an Ethernet port and can be hooked up to an office network — but again, no cable is included and you'll have to fork out $19.80 if you want to buy one from Dell.

If you've already got cables to hand, setting up the Dell 1250c is easy. It doesn't have a colour screen but the display guides you quickly through networking setup, and the bundled disc makes USB installs simple.

Dell 1250c: Print quality and print speed

The Dell 1250c prints good quality monochrome and colour documents. It produces clean text down to 6pt, and the output is free of bleeding and over-saturation. It is similar to most colour lasers in its production of colours and blocks of black ink, with very clean edges but slightly grainy gradation. We'd happily use the Dell 1250c for printing off documents for presentations.

Unfortunately the Dell 1250c is not a particularly fast printer. Dell rates the 1250c as producing 12 pages per minute for monochrome documents and up to 10 for colour, but we weren't able to achieve these figures in our tests. Our 25 page monochrome test document took 3min 16sec to complete — a result of just under eight pages per minute. The same document printed in colour took 4min 1sec for a figure of 6.2ppm.

Dell 1250c: Consumable costs

Standard cartridges for the Dell 1250c yield 700 pages each and can be purchased from Dell's online store. Black cartridges cost $63.80 and cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges can be bought for $72.60 each. You can purchase high-yield colour (1400 pages) and black cartridges (2000 pages) for $97.90 and $91.30, respectively. This translates into an ongoing cost of 9.1c per black page and 31.1c per tri-colour page using standard cartridges, while using the high-yield cartridges lowers the cost to 4.9c and 19.6c per page. These costs are significantly higher than the HP LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw, which is a colour laser printer with a higher initial price.

Dell 1250c: Environmental policy and conclusion

The Dell Earth section of Dell's Web site details the company's efforts to reduce its environmental impact, including through the use of bamboo as a renewable packaging material and Dell's 'Plant a Tree' program.

The Dell 1250c is a competent printer when it comes to producing high quality documents, and it's cheap to purchase. However, expensive cartridges and slow print speeds mean it's not easy to recommend.

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