July 14, 2010 by Sarah Meyer Reads (14,144)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service & Support
    • 7
    • Print Quality
    • 9
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Performance / Print Speed
    • 8
    • Features
    • 6
    • Operational Costs
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 7.83
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Want to see the 1135n in action?  Watch our hands-on video now!


Setting up the 1135n
I?ve reviewed enough printers, both consumer and SMB models, to realize that these days, there really isn?t a difficult printer installation.  The 1135n was no exception.

Users start with the quick install guide that covers all the bases: unpack, install toner, load paper, choose a connection (USB or Ethernet), plug in, and install software via the provided CD.  All of this is laid out over eight illustrated steps.

The CD will run a brief installation wizard with only four steps, if you choose to set up the 1135n over a network connection.

All in all, it took me about 15 minutes to set up the 1135n.

Ease of use
Between the print properties menu, the Dell Web Service and the SmarThru4 software, the 1135n is fairly easy to use via a PC.  The print properties menu is the basic printer settings that users can access through the print menu in their web browser or word processing application.

The Dell Web Service is a bit more helpful with real time status updates, supplies info, billing and counters, network information, print information, maintenance and support.  The Dell Web Service can be accessed in a multitude of languages by using the drop down window and is easily located with location and contact information on the front page.

Users can also access much of the information mentioned above directly through the printer?s control panel.  Two line displays can be slightly difficult to navigate until the user gets use to the flow and Dell does not include a menu map, much to my surprise and dismay.   However, the 1135n?s internal menus are simple comprising of four main menus (separate from the device menus accessed through their individual quick keys). 

Also, Dell provides a status pop up with a toner update after every job is completed via a PC.   Or users can check the status of the scanner or fax machine separately.

SmarThru4 allows users to interact with the devices through the PC: scan, print, fax by selecting one of the quick keys to bring up more detailed menus.  For example, when choosing to scan, Dell provides a preview of the scan, and then allows the user to edit the sample and scan the final product to a file, email, application, the web, etc.

What I love about SmarThru4 is that it is easy to use software that allows employees outside of the IT department to use a range of features.   Often with business MFPs, the software can be very difficult to use or not pre-installed and an IT administrator is sorely needed to get it working correctly.  SmarThru4 resembles a simpler software option that is usually seen on consumer products.

The 1135n both sent and received faxes with ease and Dell includes more than a few useful fax features such as blocking junk faxes, storing up to 320 pages in fax jobs, and speed dial.

Users can adjust fax settings through both the Dell Web Service and the control panel.

Scanning with the 1135n was easy as well since the only option is scanning to a selected PC.  Users can choose the size, file format, color preference, quality preference all through the control panel scan menu.

Print speed and quality tests
The Dell 1135n may not be the fastest laser printer available but at 23 ppm, it?s certainly competitive in its class.  When printing our standard 40 page black and white text word document, the 1135n printed 23 ppm with a first page out in as fast as 8 seconds, on average.  It took just over a minute and half to print the entire document.

Dell does not offer automatic duplexing with the 1135n but it does have manual duplexing, of course the speed varies since the user must manual flip the documents after the first side prints.

The 1135n features a toner saver mode that can be activated via the control panel or through the print settings on the PC.  The print speeds are nearly identical in both the normal print mode and the toner saver mode.

The quality isn?t much different either.  The Dell 1135n prints out nice solid text in normal mode and the toner saver mode is just a shade lighter as you can see below.  Both print outs were scanned in using the 1135n?s scanner.

Dell 1135n normal print out, left, Dell 1135n toner saver print out, right



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