Dell B1160w review

Price when reviewed

The Dell B1160w is a budget laser printer with a bit extra. It doesn’t have to be tethered with a USB or network cable: with 802.11n Wi-Fi built in, you can print from anywhere in the home or office, and via Android devices.

That’s impressive for a printer this cheap, but Dell has clearly cut corners to squeeze it in. The B1160w’s chassis is plasticky and basic; the 150-sheet input tray isn’t full length; so prints curl over the end of it; and there are only two LEDs up top to denote print status and warn when toner is low.

The Dell can be connected to a wireless network in two ways: the WPS button on the top panel quickly connects it to compatible routers; or you can hook it up to a PC via USB and set up the connection via the software wizard on the supplied CD-ROM.

The Dell achieved exactly the same speeds over wireless and USB connections. It fell just short of its quoted 20ppm print speeds in our tests, averaging 18.8ppm.

Printing from an Android smartphone via Dell’s Mobile Print app was much slower: our five-page ISO PDF test document took almost three minutes.

Dell B1160w

Print quality is excellent for such an affordable printer. Text was almost perfect, and the quality in our image and photo tests blew away most of the competition.

Despite a tendency to crush detail in darker areas of images, highlights remained intact, and the combination of good detail and very little banding makes for bold, appealing prints.

The Dell’s big weakness is running costs. With the £48 toner cartridges lasting 1,500 pages, each A4 print works out at 3.2p – the second highest of any laser here.

Up to 5,000 pages, this doesn’t have much impact; it’s just behind the second-place printer. After 10,000 pages, however, the Dell slips to fifth place.

Overall, though, we think the Dell B1160w gets the balance just right. The wireless connectivity is handy for home and small-office use, print quality is up there with the best, and the running costs aren’t prohibitive. For only £57, it’s an attractive proposition.

Basic Specifications

Resolution printer final1800 x 600dpi
Rated/quoted print speed20PPM
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionno

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page3.2p
Cost per A4 colour pageN/A


Monthly duty cycle10,000 pages
Standard mono toner life1,500 pages
High-yield mono toner lifeN/A
Standard colour toner lifeN/A
High-yield colour toner lifeN/A
Supplied mono toner life700 pages
Supplied colour toner lifeN/A

Power and noise

Dimensions331 x 215 x 178mm (WDH)

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured)18.8ppm
Colour print speedN/A

Media Handling

Input tray capacity150 sheets
Output tray capacity100 sheets


USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?no
Bluetooth connection?no
PictBridge port?no

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

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos