Dell P713w review

Entry-level all-in-one inkjet multifunction let down by running costs
Photo of Dell P713w
£90 from www.dell.co.uk

Dell sells a lot of printers, all of which it has a hand in designing – but none of which it makes. Most of its inkjet printers are manufactured for it by Lexmark, and the P713w bears more than a passing resemblance to that company’s range of Professional all-in-ones.

First impressions
The P713w’s sleek black and white looks are enhanced by the 110mm touchscreen at the front, which controls everything in the machine, except switching it on and off. The screen is reasonably responsive, and most selections are carried out by a single touch.

Paper feeds from a 250-sheet cartridge set into the front of the printer, and ends up in a paper tray on the lid of the cartridge. If you want to print photos, you need to change the paper in this one tray, as there’s no integral photo tray.

A small cover to the right of the paper tray opens to show a single memory card slot, for SD, MemoryStick and xD cards, and there’s a USB socket in there as well, for USB drives and PictBridge cameras.

The printer supports USB, Ethernet and wireless data connections and wireless setup is easy, via the touchscreen. Dell provides Abbyy Sprint for OCR and drivers for Windows and OS X, with Linux support available, too.

Performance
The company claims the P713w can print at 33 pages per minute (ppm) in mono and 30ppm in colour, but these are silly figures. A five-page text document came out at 5.1ppm, and a colour one output at 4.0ppm. A 20-page text document went slightly faster, at 6.7ppm. Printing black text duplex produced 4.0 sides per minute, well above par for a £90 all-in-one.

These are the sort of real-world print speeds you should expect, printing in normal mode – and they’re well up with the competition. A 15x10cm photo took about 45s, as did a colour photocopy from the flatbed scanner.

Print quality is generally good. Black text is crisp, with only slight fuzziness on some emboldened headings. Colours are bright enough to give business graphics plenty of punch, yet subtle enough to produce natural-looking photos. Some colours are a little over-saturated, particularly in darker shades, but colour photocopies are surprisingly faithful to the originals.

Running costs
The real problem with this printer is the cost of its consumables. A black ink cartridge costs £25 and the tri-colour one is £34, giving costs per page of 7.1p and 17.1p for black and colour pages, respectively. These are very high, with some competitive printer makers charging less than a quarter as much to print a page.

Company: Dell

Website: http://www.dell.co.uk/

Positives
  • Low purchase price.
Negative
  • Very high consumable costs.

Verdict

There's lots that's good about this printer. It prints reasonably quickly, produces above-average print quality and includes extras like duplex print and wireless connection as standard. You do pay for the comparatively low price of the printer, as ink costs are over the odds. If you're looking for low running costs, don't go here.