Nearly identical to the Dell B2360d that I recently reviewed, the Dell B2360dn adds only one feature: network support. However, that one feature makes a tremendous difference. The B2360d’s lack of network support makes it a niche product, as a mono laser personal printer with exceptionally heavy-duty capability for personal use. The B2360dn’s added Ethernet connector and optional Wi-Fi adapter ($49 direct) makes it a shared printer for heavy-duty needs in a micro or small office or workgroup. It also makes it an easy pick for Editors’ Choice in that role.
Like the Dell B2360d, the B2360dn is directly competitive with the Editors’ Choice Brother HL-6180DW, but more so. It’s a head-to-head competitor not just as a potential personal printer, but as a shared printer too. Both the Brother and Dell printers deliver their own mix of strengths, with HL-6180DW offering a somewhat higher paper capacity (at 550 sheets standard and 1,050 sheets maximum), and a lower cost per page, while the B2360dn offers faster speed on our tests. Which one you prefer will depend largely on which strengths you find more appealing.
Although the B2360d can’t quite match the HL-6180DW for paper handling, it comes close, and it certainly offers enough to qualify for heavy-duty use by micro- and small-office standards. The printer includes a duplexer (for two-sided printing), a 250-sheet drawer, and a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray as standard, for a total 300-sheet capacity. If you need more, you can add a 550-sheet tray ($239.99 direct for the standard version or $284.99 for a lockable version), for a maximum total of 850 sheets.
Not too surprisingly, given the similarity to the Dell B2360d, the B2360dn is essentially the same size and weight, at 31.1 pounds and 10.3 by 15.7 by 15 inches (HWD). But while a mono laser that size is a little bigger than usual for personal use, it’s reasonably typical for a shared printer for a micro or small office. More important, it’s small enough so you should be able to find enough room for it easily.
Speed and Output Quality
For my tests I installed the printer on a network using its Ethernet connector and ran the tests from a system running Windows Vista. Setup was absolutely standard for the breed.
Dell rates the B2360dn at 40 pages per minute (ppm), which is the same rating it gives the Dell B2360d and a touch slower than Brother’s rating for the HL-6180DW. On our tests, the two Dell printers were effectively tied, which isn’t always true even for the same printer using different kinds of connections (USB and Ethernet in this case). More to the point, both were faster than the Bother printer.
On our business applications suite (timed with QualityLogic’s hardware and software) the B2360dn came in at an effective 15.0 pages per minute (ppm), making it significantly faster than the HL-6180W, at 10.7 ppm, as well as faster than most other mono lasers in its price range.
Output quality for the B2360dn is a touch below par overall, but good enough for most business needs. Both text and graphics were at the low end of the range where most mono lasers fall. For text, that translates to being good enough for almost any business need, unless you have an unusual need for small fonts. For graphics, it translates to being easily good enough for any internal business use, but a touch short of what you probably would consider good enough for PowerPoint handouts or the like.
Photos were a step below par for a mono laser, making them good enough to print recognizable images from photos on Web pages, but a little short of what I’d want for, say, a client newsletter with photos.
Although the Dell B2360dn’s output quality costs the printer some points, the quality is more than good enough for most office use, and the overall balance of speed, paper handling, and output quality is more than a little attractive. If photo or graphics quality is a particular concern, the Brother HL-6180DW, with its slightly better-looking output, will probably be your preferred printer. However, both the Brother and Dell printers offer essentially the same text quality, which is usually more important for a mono laser, and the Dell B2360dn’s faster speed is both a key strength and enough to make it an Editors’ Choice.
More Multi-function Printer Reviews:
|Direct Printing from Cameras||No|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size||Legal|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)||40 ppm|
|Color or Monochrome||Monochrome|
|Technology (for laser category only)||Laser|
|Connection Type||USB, Ethernet|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc