Date Joined: 02/06/04
Pros: I got this color laser printer (C2660DN) almost on a whim, because I already have a color printer, but that one is aging and when I saw this, I decided to give it a go. When it arrived, we unboxed it and set it up. If you've set up printers before, you know the process: remove the transit tapes, put in the tray, power it up -- except, curiously, the instructions say to put the tray in AFTER turning it on. We did that, and almost like that the printer was ready to go. The included toner cartridges are already installed in the printer, and I read that they are not small-capacity "starter" cartridges, but are all four the standard-capacity carts. That's rare, but so far has been welcome. We printed a test print and were amazed at the quality of the result.
So next we began to go at it in earnest. We downloaded the drivers from Dell, and that was easy enough but installing them proved just a little confusing, as the unzipper program gave us no chance to specify an unzip location. Well, OK, we can live with that. The driver established itself with one of those "WSD" things which everyone dislikes, but we put a static IP into the printer and connected via Ethernet cable; with that as the print port, the printer lit right up and we were printing amazing color images seconds later. We were very pleased with the results; this was unlike any other printer I've ever used. Even the color printers at school, where I work, could not match this quality and they cost thousands of dollars. I had just a couple of weeks before purchased a professional photo-quality printer and this Dell's results almost made me regret the other purchase (almost).
The duplex (two-sided) printing is fast and automatic; the colors are crystal clear, the images are sharp and clean, and they look just about pro-quality. We tried a few high-color, high-density images and they all came up as color-matched as you could want. We were very impressed with the output of this printer.
The control system at the printer is a dream to operate. Each function is nicely labeled and the menu selections are clear and understandable. The control keypad is great, with easy-to-use buttons. The display isn't anything special, but it too is clear and easy to read, nothing fancy but perfectly usable.
The printer has features we will likely never use, but you might. It has the ability to secure documents, for instance, which means the queue will accept a print job but you have to go to the printer to enter a four-digit code (which you set up in advance) to then print it. This just gives you a layer of security so the wrong eyes don't read your document before you do. The printer can go wireless, but that component is actually a separate purchase. From Dell, it is rather costly but you can easily accomplish the same thing by simply plugging the Ethernet cable into a wireless router, which just about anyone with wireless at home already has. That limits where you can position the printer but if true built-in-device wireless is a must for you, you can get the adapter from Dell (or probably you favorite on-line electronics site).
Once a print job completes, the printer says so with a little "ding" sound. You can set a similar sound for other operations, such as paper jam or paper out; and you can turn this sound off if you don't like it. It isn't loud or obnoxious, so we're keeping it on.
The printer has a 50,000-page-per-month duty cycle, so it is ready to deal with most small-office business use. That's a lot for home use, but it also means it'll likely last for more years than you'll be wanting to keep it around. It isn't small, but again in an office environment, it's great. It's print speed is quite good (28ppm) and that claims to be for both BW and color; we haven't timed it, but the print speed is more than acceptable. It goes to sleep to save energy (you can adjust how long before this happens) and uses low-melt toner, which means less heat and thus less electricity to operate it. Waking up from that sleep mode takes a few seconds (14, I think) but for the most part, what's the rush.
Cons: Well, despite the very favorable opinion of the printer given above, there is one quite terrible aspect of this printer which, had I known it before, might have made a difference in deciding to buy it. It's rather simple, really: The Dell toner cartridges for this printer are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. Hundreds of dollars for a complete 4-toner set. Over $500 direct from Dell! The very cheapest I could find them was twice as expensive as the printer itself. It's crazy, but you would be better off just buying a new printer rather than buying replacement toner carts! Of course, you'd like to have extra-capacity carts, but just buy two printers and it's still less costly than buying Dell toners.
You can certainly get compatible carts, but I've read horror stories about several brands; in particular, the yellow cart tends to "explode" and discharge toner all over the insides of the printer. I got this printer because it was affordable, but the Dell carts are little better than highway robbery; they CAN'T be that expensive to manufacture, especially if third-parties can offer theirs at 1/5 the cost. I do WANT to buy original Dell carts, but honestly, who could afford to. I will almost certainly end up trying a compatible, but I may live to regret it.
Overall Review: DELL: PAY ATTENTION. Your toner cartridges are stupidly expensive. You'd sell four times as many and make the same profit if you lowered the price to something closer to your competitors' prices. I know, you think theirs are junk and maybe they are, but people are buying them anyway because who can afford yours for crying out loud!