Dell B5460dn review

20 May 2013

A hugely expandable mono laser printer offering excellent value, but output quality is disappointing

Dell B5460dn
Price when reviewed: 
550(£458 exc VAT)
5

Dell’s latest B5460dn mono laser sets new standards for value, pumping out 60ppm at a shade less than £500. The Kyocera FS-4300DN delivers the same print speed and a similar feature set, but it costs almost twice as much.

The Dell can’t beat the Kyocera on printing costs, however. Dell’s combination of extra high-yield toner cartridge, fuser and drum delivers a page for 0.83p, while the FS-4300DN has fewer consumables and returns a page for 0.4p.

The B5460dn handled our speed tests well. A 30-page Word document appeared in the output tray in 30 seconds at both 600dpi and 1,200dpi. The time to first page was never more than six seconds, and the integrated duplexer delivered the same test print in 49 seconds.

Dell B5460dn

However, our DTP-style document – with 24 pages of large graphics and photos – proved more of a challenge. At 600dpi, it printed in 24 seconds, but it took 42 seconds at 1,200dpi. The FS-4300DN kept printing at full speed in these tests.

The Dell doesn’t suffer from the ugly banding we saw with the Kyocera; even so, photos suffer from a lack of detail in darker areas, and become murkier still at the 1,200dpi setting. But we’ve no complaints about the text quality, which is pin-sharp.

The printer is also packed with features. The driver offers a proof-and-hold facility for multiple copies, plus PIN protection for sensitive documents.

There’s plenty of scope for hardware expansion, too, and you can walk up and print from the front USB port. Be prepared to wait, however – our eight-page test PDF took 3mins 40secs to print.

The B5460dn is currently the best-value high-speed mono laser on the market. The middling print costs are offset by the low price of the printer itself, and expansion is extensive – but the printer’s substandard image printing limits its use to jobs where quality isn’t a priority.

Basic Specifications

Colour? no
Resolution printer final 1200 x 1200dpi
Rated/quoted print speed 60PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function yes

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 0.8p

Consumables

Monthly duty cycle 275,000 pages

Power and noise

Dimensions 512 x 425 x 415mm (WDH)

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured) 60.0ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 550 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? yes