Dell V305w review

£74
Price when reviewed
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.

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 4800 x 1200dpi
Integrated TFT screen? no
Rated/quoted print speed 21PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function no

Running costs

Inkjet technology Thermal

Power and noise

Dimensions 450 x 312 x 177mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption 23W
Idle power consumption 11W

Copier Specification

Fax? no
Fax speed N/A
Fax page memory N/A

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time 2min 23s
Mono print speed (measured) 9ppm
Colour print speed 1ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing? yes
CD/DVD printing? no
Input tray capacity 100 sheets

Connectivity

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

Flash media

SD card reader yes
Compact Flash reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
xD-card reader yes
Other memory media support MMC

OS Support

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

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