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Dell 5230dn review

Dell 5230dn


Good print speeds and quality, plus low running costs make this a top choice for busy workgroups

Review Date: 29 Sep 2011

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £529 (£635 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
6 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Dell’s 5230dn mono A4 laser is the very definition of the office workhorse. From its 43ppm print speed to its integrated duplexer, it’s designed to churn through pages.

It certainly has the capacity: the basic 250-sheet input tray can be augmented with three 550-sheet drawers, an envelope feeder and a 2,000-sheet feeder. There’s an optional 80GB hard disk and wireless print server available, and the base 128MB of RAM can be upgraded to 256MB for £38.

If you agree to Dell’s buy-and-return recycling policy and buy the 21,000-page cartridge, prints cost less than 1p per page. It ships with a 7,000-page cartridge, which returns 1.5p per page, or a hefty 2.1p if you don’t recycle it.

Dell 5230dn

The 5230dn claims a true 1,200dpi resolution, but this drags down print speeds. A 40-page Word document at the 2400IQ interpolated setting delivered 44ppm, but at 1,200dpi this dropped to 23ppm. We saw similar speeds for our 24-page DTP print.

There isn’t much point in 1,200dpi anyway, since it makes little difference to quality. Text in 2400IQ mode was clean and sharp, and quality for general business reports was acceptable, with little evidence of banding in graphs. The 5230dn doesn’t handle photos as well, though: they’re marred by banding and a lack of detail in darker areas.

Access security is good: the printer has an internal user database, supports LDAP, Kerberos, passwords and PINs, and offers a web-based wizard to help set up each one. The front USB port can also be used to print PDFs directly from flash media.

The 5230dn is a good choice for workgroups that have big printing demands. Its low initial price and a huge range of expansion options makes this our new favourite network laser printer.

Author: Dave Mitchell

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User comments

Looks like the badge says Xerox!

By Scrivy on 29 Sep 2011


Thanks for pointing that out, Scrivy. It's now fixed!

Jonathan Bray,
Reviews editor,
PC Pro.

By JonBray on 29 Sep 2011

Lexmark still design and build these units for Dell so it should be a decent enough printer.

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