Review: Dell Mono Laser Multifunctional Printers

Paul Mah

Editor’s note: Dell provided both the B1265dfw and B1165nfw Mono Laser Multifunctional Printers for Paul Mah to review.

Designed specifically for small and midsize businesses, the B1265dfw and B1165nfw mono laser multifunctional printers are very similar in that they offer print, scan, copy and fax capabilities, and output up to 1200x1200 dpi of monochrome laser printouts.

The Hardware

Both printers include 10/100 LAN connectivity, a USB 2.0 port and 802.11 b/g/n wireless. It isn’t immediately apparent when looking at their specifications sheet, but the B1165nfw is significantly lighter at 17.64lbs (8kg), compared to the B1265dfw at 29.76lbs (13.5kg). The B1165nfw is also shorter with a slightly smaller footprint, which makes it ideal for deployment in places where space is at a premium.

Under the hood, though, the B1165nfw lacks duplex printing capability, and has no built-in paper tray. Instead, a front flap opens up reveal a simple receptacle that holds up to 150 sheets of paper. The B1265dfw, on the other hand, comes with duplex printing and can hold 250 sheets of paper in an internal tray. The latter is also faster, providing up to 28 pages per minute (ppm) for simplex printing, compared to 20 ppm for the B1165nfw.

Despite being designed for SMBs, both printers have a fairly high duty cycle of up to 20,000 pages per month, though Dell pegs the recommended monthly print volume at between 150 and 700 pages.

Deployment and Printing/Scanning Experiences

Setting up both of the printers was a straightforward affair, though there did appear to be an excessive amount of packing tape used to secure various parts of the printer for shipping. Once removed, though, there were no other components to assemble beyond plugging it into the wall receptacle using the provided power cord.

Both printers support both AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, though I only tested it with the former. AirPrint worked right out of the box, and required no necessary configuration. I was able to print documents and emails from an iPad and iPad Mini, while my Windows 7 Ultrabook automatically recognized the B1165nfw after I connected the printer using a USB cable; my MacBook Pro detected the printer over the network and automatically set up the printer when I clicked on it.

Having reviewed my fair share of printers over the years, what I particularly liked was how there was no need to fiddle with complicated IP configuration settings--though you will need to install the appropriate driver to get the scanner to work. Once installed, though, scanning was as simple as selecting the “Scan to PC” option on the printer and selecting the correct target device from the menu.

The pop-up control panel did look somewhat fragile at the first glance, though it stays firmly locked into position when deployed. Controls are simple and intuitive without having to refer to the menu, and it does fold away conveniently if you ever need it out of the way.

Wrapping It Up

While I admit to having some initial skepticism on the quality of a Dell branded printer, I was left pleasantly surprised by what is essentially a no-nonsense business printer that was easy to set up and “just worked.”  In conclusion, I liked what I saw and have no qualms about getting Dell printers for my home office should my own current all-in-one machine break down.

The B1165nfw and B1265dfw are available at a discounted price at the moment, and are priced at a very affordable $189.99 and $259.99, respectively.

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