Dell V305w review
The Dell V305w is the cheapest machine on test this month to offer wireless printing, in the form of an 802.11g connection. It’s a welcome addition that makes the Dell far more versatile than many of the more expensive machines on test.
This increased versatility is matched by relatively good print quality, too. In our tests, the quality of documents was almost as good as that in the Labs-winning Canon Pixma MP610 and output quality was just as impressive.
Unfortunately, this performance isn’t maintained elsewhere. The scanner offered acceptable results with basic documents, but the Dell suffered when tasked with larger, more detailed photos.
Copying told a similar story: while normal quality was reasonable, areas of colour and photos were disappointing. It’s not the quickest machine, either – taking over six minutes to copy our five-page colour test document, and just short of three minutes for one 6 x 4in photo.
Like the Dell 968, the V305w isn’t the most economic all-in-one on test: a mono cartridge will set you back almost £13, compared with the £4 cartridges offered by Epson. The Dell allows you to use some colour inks when printing blacks to increase colour vivacity and the lifespan of the cartridges, but a cost-per-page of 5.7p is at the higher end of the spectrum.
Unfortunately, the colour cartridge may have a longevity problem: in our testing, the cyan ink ran out after 30 pages, with yellow giving up after 57 – the worst result of any of the all-in-one machines.
Thankfully, Dell’s features fare better. Wireless connectivity is accompanied by a card reader, a two-line LCD contains plenty of info about ink levels and print progress, and it comes with intuitive software to make setting the printer up via USB easy.
While the Dell offers reasonable print quality and a halfway-decent feature set, it’s let down by average scanning, poor quality copying and slow operating speeds. You’d be better off paying more for a unit offering superior performance.
|Resolution printer final||4800 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||21PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||450 x 312 x 177mm (WDH)|
|Peak power consumption||23W|
|Idle power consumption||11W|
|Fax page memory||N/A|
|6x4in photo print time||2min 23s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||9ppm|
|Colour print speed||1ppm|
|Input tray capacity||100 sheets|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|Other memory media support||MMC|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||no|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Software supplied||ABBYY FineReader|