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.

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.

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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