The Dell 1710n is the networked version of the indomitable 1710 monochrome laser printer. It is targeted directly at home users and small businesses and is the ideal candidate if you’re looking for a good quality, cost effective laser printer.
The 1710n comes with networking as standard, with a 10/100 Ethernet port. Dell also offer a wireless adapter which adds a lot of freedom when it comes to cabling and placing the printer. It also has the standard USB and parallel ports if you don’t want to network it.
The build quality is solid, the design functional. It’s basically a black and grey box with the paper output on top and the connections at the back. The control panel consists of two buttons and some LED’s which warn of jams, low toner and all the usual printer statuses. The two buttons are to either start or stop print jobs, so use is simple and trouble free.
The hardware is also built to last. The chassis feels solid, but isn’t too heavy. Inside there is a 366Mhz processor with 16Mb of memory which can be expanded to 144Mb. The paper drawer can hold up to 800 sheets of paper, but with the output being on top, there is no way the printer could be left to its own devices too long before the prints were all over the floor.
Print speed was impressive at 27 pages per minute, which is pretty quick for this kind of price. The quality on text prints was very good, with clear edges and even spread no matter what size the text was printed at. Images weren’t so good, but then this is a laser printer, which is designed for document printing rather than images. Reproduction was still pretty good, but there was definite banding visible when printing a photograph.
Changing paper and toner is as easy as it gets. The paper drawer slides out easily, and a button on the side releases a flap on the front to reach the toner. The cartridge provided will print up to 3000 sheets of standard 5% coverage, which should last the average user quite a while. Replacements are decent value and are rated to last for 6000 prints. Most online retailers like Quikshiptoner.com have them in ready supply, so there is no problem replacing them when the need arises.
Overall the Dell 1710n is a worthwhile contender for the home/home office market. It’s no-nonsense styling and operation will suit most people who don’t want to waste time sifting through hundreds of options every time they want to print something. Cost of ownership is credibly low, which adds to the attraction of this good value machine.