Dell 2145cn MFP printer review

This duplex capable Dell multi-function printer seems to have all the bases covered.

Dell 2145cn
Price
£514

Buying a multifunction device rather than a simple printer makes a lot of sense, particularly if space is tight. Building scan, copy and fax functions into a single machine, with pretty much the same footprint as a single-function printer, will provide a productivity boost and if, as in Dell's 2145cn, it can duplex, too, it could save you quite a bit of your stationery budget, as well.

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This is a big, black Dell box, sitting a full 650mm off the desk. In fact, if you go for the optional second paper tray, you might be as well to set it on a lower stand, rather than a desk.

At the top of the machine is an A4 flatbed scanner with a 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and this can re-feed and turn originals over to scan both sides in a single operation.

In front of the scanner is a sparsely populated control panel, sparse partly because it's quite large. There's a 2-line by 16-character backlit LCD display for status and menu reporting and in front of this are simple navigation buttons. As well as a number pad for fax dialling set towards the right-hand end of the panel, there's a separate panel of speed-dials up to 30 of them set to the left, for regularly used fax destinations.

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There are specialist buttons for the usual copying parameters, with the addition of an illuminated button to turn duplexing on and off. At the right-hand end of the control panel are a trio of buttons to start black and colour copies and to stop a current job.

In the top right-hand corner of the front panel is a USB socket, which can be used to plug-in USB drives, to print from or scan to. The printer's output tray is just to the left of this and has quite a narrow slot, so it's as well the whole scanner section hinges up, in case you need to deal with paper jams.

At the bottom of the front panel is a 250-sheet paper tray, with a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray additionally available, when you pull down the front panel. A 250-sheet main tray is not really big enough on any machine intended for business use and, although there's an optional 500-sheet tray available, the base capacity should be increased.

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