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Lunch » Tags » Printers » Reviews » Dell 3000cn Laser Printer » User review

Dell Plays Catch-up with Hewlett Packard

  • Apr 25, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: Inexpensive; color, network ready; USB and parallel ports.

Cons: Photo quality is lacking; can be expensive to maintain.

The Bottom Line: If you are an all Dell shop and you need a relatively inexpensive color printing solution, the Dell 3000cn might be a nice fit for your workgroup environment.

Color, oh color, you have to love color. I usually like my color printer in the inkjet form, but businesses are in love with color laser printers. And so my company recently ordered a new Dell Color Laser 3000cn for our workgroup.

The Dell 3000cn ($449) is the smaller brother to the 3100cn. Both are four-pass or rotary-design color lasers with 600 by 600 dpi resolution, rated at 25 pages per minute for monochrome and 5 pages per minute (ppm) for color. And each is equipped with a 10/100BaseT Ethernet port as well as USB and parallel ports. And each offers a maximum duty cycle of 45,000 pages a month.
Product Description (from Dell): The Dell Color
Laser Printer 3000cn is the reliable color laser printer for a small business at the price of black and white. You won't be sacrificing performance or quality with up to 25 pages per minute in black and white and 5 pages per minute color (actual print speed will vary with use) at a max resolution of 600 x 600 dpi with 2400 image quality. Low toner cost of printing (including drum) at 1.5 cents per page (4K1) in black and white and 12.5 cents per page in color (2K1). Dell Color Track can lower your total cost of printing by offering a separate monochrome print driver that allows you to designate color and/or black and white printing on an individual or workgroup basis. (The Unit) ships with Standard Ethernet 10/100 BaseT networking, USB and parallel port. Maximum input capacity 900 sheets, optional 250 sheet legal paper drawer, 250 sheet A4 paper drawer, 500 sheet A4 drawer and duplexer.

In the Box

• Dell 3000cn Printer
• 2K (2000) page Black Toner Cartridge
• 1K (1000) page Magenta Toner Cartridge
• 1K (1000) page Yellow Toner Cartridge
• 1K (1000) page Cyan Toner Cartridge
• Software installation disc
• Quick Start Installation Guide
• Owners Manual
• 150 sheet paper tray

The 3000cn is fairly easy to set up; from start to finish the printer was up and running in less than thirty minutes; the printer weighs in at 55 pounds and measures 16.5 by 16.7 by 17 inches. Make note, the 3000cn is rather large to be considered a standard desktop printer. The easy-to-read LCD menu made the installation proceed with dispatch; the controls are readouts are pretty intuitive. Versatility is built into printer; the 3000cn offers both a USB 2.0 and parallel ports (cables not included) as well as built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet.
The 3000cn has a resolution of 600 by 600 dpi, and Dell equipped the unit with 64MB of RAM, which should be adequate for handling most standard printing tasks—black or color. For an additional $150 you can upgrade the unit to 512MB. As with most Windows-centric printers, the 3000cn offers support for Printer Command Language (PCL) Versions 5 & 6, but will not support PostScript, which is more often associated with the Macintosh Operating system. The 3000cn is compatible with Windows 98 and up. The included paper tray holds up to 150 sheets of standard 20 pound 8.5 x 11 paper. Optional paper trays can be purchased that hold 250 ($180) or 500 ($230) sheets. A duplexing unit can also be purchased for $300.

Use

After a few months of use I have to admit that I am not very impressed. Don’t get me wrong the printer does what it supposed to do, product color output, but the quality, especially where photo are concerned, is somewhat lacking. For text, both black and color the output is more than adequate but photos are a mixed bag; the overall quality is good, but the some of the details like fine lines and subtle color differences are lacking even at the highest resolutions. For my money a good color inkjet with good quality paper will do a better job, and it’s a lot less messy.

A lot has to do with the paper used; heavier 22 – 24 pound stock is advisable for any (photo) color printing, but in the office environment this is not always practical. We use stock 20 pound Xerox paper in our 3000cn. It would be nice to get a color laser printer that turned out high quality prints not matter the weight of the paper.

Printing speeds are acceptable; like most color laser printers the 3000cn has to warm up before it prints a job even for text output. Those same limitations are not associated with an inkjet printer. Nor are the messy black and color toner cartridge that are now legend in the color laser printer world. And with an inkjet printer there are no drum kits and fuser assemblies to replace over the life of the printer. Are you sensing a common theme here? I do not care for color laser printers, but for workgroup usage the Dell 3000cn is not all bad. And being able to place the unit in the network is a plus that sort of makes up for its shortcomings.

Replacement toner cartridges are not cheap, checking at $44.99 for a 4000-page black cartridge (Dell does not sell a 2000-page cart), and $64.95 each for 2000-page replacement color cartridges. Again you cannot purchase the 1000-page cartridges that shipped with the unit; only 2000-4000 page units available after market. And speaking of after market, I was unable to find the replace cartridges at any of the usual retail or on-line office supply stores; it seems they can only be had through Dell and that means on-line. Food for through before you purchase.

If you are an all Dell shop—like we are—and you need a relatively inexpensive color printing solution, the Dell 3000cn might be a nice fit for your workgroup environment.

Product Features:

• Fast, Black and white up to 25ppm print speed (actual print speed will vary with use);
• Color up to 5 ppm print speed (actual print speed will vary with use);
• Maximum Resolution is 600 x 600 dpi(2400 image quality);
• Maximum input capacity 900 sheets;
• Monthly duty cycle up to 45K pages;
• Toner cost per page (not including drum)1.1 cents (Black), 10.9 cents (Color);
• Toner cost per page (including drum) 1.5 cents (Black), 12.5 cents (Color);
• Dell Color Track driver enables designation of color and/or black and white printing with individuals or workgroups;
• Ships with 2K Black, 1K Color Toner Cartridges. 4K Black, 2K Color Toner Cartridges available;
• Optional 250 sheet legal paper drawer, 250 sheet A4 paper drawer and 500 sheet A4 drawer and duplexer;
• Standard Ethernet 10/100 BaseT networking, USB and parallel port;
• OS Compatible with Microsoft® Windows® XP, 2K, NT 4.0, 98, Me, Server 2003 (does not support Windows XP 64 bit OS);
• Dell Printer Web Tool can be used to install, configure, and manage network printers and consumables;
• Standard 1-Year Next Business Day On-site service;
• Fuser Maintenance Coverage. 2-4 years extended services options

Product Specifications:

Output: Up to 25 ppm Black & White / Up to 5 ppm Color
Compatibility: with Microsoft Windows (98, 2000, Me, NT 4.0, XP, Server 2003)
Print Languages: PCL 6, PCL 5e
Processor Speed: 300MHz
Standard Paper Input: 150- sheet MPT (Multi-purpose Tray)
Paper Handling Options: 250-sheet A4 drawer, 250-sheet legal drawer, duplex
Ports: USB 2.0 (Cable not included), 1284 Parallel Port, 10/100BaseT Ethernet
Memory: 64 MB Standard, upgradable to 576 MB
Size (W x D x H): 16.7" x 16.5" x 17"


Recommended:
Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 449.00
Operating System: Windows

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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki

The Dell Laser Printer 3000cn is an affordable network-ready color laser for small or home offices. The 3000cn features up-to 2400 Image Quality (IQ) resolution, enabling high-quality color printing. It prints black text at speeds of up to 25 pages per minute (ppm) and color up to 5 ppm (actual print speeds will vary with use.).
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