Dell 1320cn review

Price when reviewed

If you’d told us a couple of years that in you’d be able to buy a network-capable, colour laser for just £101 exc VAT, we might just have believed you. If you’d told us the same printer would top the charts for speed and quality, though, we’d have laughed you out of the room.

Dell 1320cn review

While the Dell 1320cn might look uninspiring, our tests revealed it to be nearly infallible. In print quality, for instance, it scored perfectly. Our business graphics printed crisply and evenly, and with white text on red we experienced no background bleeding.

Gradients in bar graphs were smooth and consistent, and solid blocks of colour never appeared to be raised from the page, thanks to the weight of toner used.

Even our photographic test – the kiss of death for so many laser printers – was absolutely fine. Our mono photographic test was equally good.

It also managed our tests against the clock terrifically well. Over the course of our testing it averaged a fantastic 15.4pp – very impressive considering the price.

It quick when it came to our demanding 24-page DTP document as well: despite a difficult mixture of graphical, photographic and typographical elements, the Dell shrugged off the challenge and turned in a performance of 13ppm.

It’s almost enough to earn an unqualified recommendation, but there are a few problems. First is its TCO. With high-capacity colour toner cartridges running to £61 each, and an image drum setting you back £99 every 20,000 pages, the 1320cn is one of the more expensive printers in the long run.

If you expect to print more than a few thousand pages over the life of the printer you should look at cheaper-to-run options, particularly if you’re in the market for a single-user machine. It’s also worth noting that at 380mm high, it isn’t very compact.

However, if you’re only going to print occasionally and want to bag a fast, quality printer for just a shade more than £100, it’s a bargain.


Speed rating5

Basic Specifications

Resolution printer final600 x 600dpi
Rated/quoted print speed16PPM
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionno


Monthly duty cycle35,000 pages
Drum life200,000 pages
Fuser lifeN/A
Transfer-belt lifeN/A
Standard mono toner life1,000 pages
High-yield mono toner life2,000 pages
Standard colour toner life1,000
High-yield colour toner life2,000 pages
Supplied mono toner life1,000 pages
Supplied colour toner life1,000

Power and noise

Peak noise level50.0dB(A)
Dimensions400 x 422 x 378mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption265W
Idle power consumption4W

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured)17ppm
Colour print speed13ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity251 sheets
Output tray capacity150 sheets


USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?yes
Bluetooth connection?no
WiFi connection?no
PictBridge port?no
Other connectionsNone

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported?yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported?yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported?no

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