Dell 1130n review

Price when reviewed

Laying eyes on the Dell 1130n, you’d be forgiven for assuming it was little more than a rebadged Samsung ML-2525, such is the pair’s physical similarity. Both machines have stylish, curved exteriors with a matte black finish, and even have their buttons in the same place.

The Dell’s specification backs this up, with a 250-sheet input and 80-sheet A4 output tray, along with a single-sheet feeder. It’s mono only, and you’ll find nothing so advanced as an automatic duplex unit. The Dell has one key improvement over the Samsung, though, with a 10/100 Ethernet port alongside its USB 2 connection.

Dell 1130n

The 1130n exhibited a decent turn of speed in our range of print tests. It churned out our 5% coverage letter at a respectable 22ppm at normal quality, and proved just as fast when tasked with complex DTP documents. This speed was maintained across the rest of our benchmarks; our Excel document printed at 19ppm and our five-page ISO document at 18ppm.

The Dell matched its reasonable pace with good quality. Text was consistently sharp, even when printed at unusually small and large sizes. Image quality was as good as could be expected from a mono laser – with no sign of banding across gradients – but still with noticeable grain from the 600 x 600dpi print resolution. It’s on a par with the Samsung.

It’s more of a mixed bag when it comes to value, though. The £119 exc VAT price isn’t too bad for a network-capable printer, but it’s an expensive machine to run. Its high-yield cartridge offers a 2,500-page capacity and costs £63 exc VAT; compare that to a £45 cost for an equivalent Samsung cartridge and it’s clear which is cheaper to run.

Dell offers a version of this printer without networking for £75 exc VAT, but that’s close to the Samsung and the consumables remain just as expensive. Plus, it comes with an inferior print engine: the standard 1130 is quoted at just 18ppm, while this Ethernet-equipped 1130n is listed at 24ppm.

So you should only really be looking to this Dell if you specifically need a mono laser with an Ethernet port, for use in the home or a small office. If you can do without networking the Samsung ML-2525 makes more long-term economic sense.


Speed rating 4

Printer language & OS Support

PCL level 6
PostScript level 3

Basic Specifications

Colour? no
Resolution printer final 600 x 600dpi
Rated/quoted print speed 24PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function no


Monthly duty cycle 12,000 pages
Standard mono toner life 1,500 pages
High-yield mono toner life 2,500 pages

Power and noise

Dimensions 360 x 389 x 197mm (WDH)

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured) 18ppm
Colour print speed N/A

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 250 sheets
Output tray capacity 80 sheets


USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? yes
Bluetooth connection? no
PictBridge port? no
Other connections None

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? yes
Other operating system support Mac OS X 10.3-10.6
Software supplied Dell Printer Configuration Tool

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