Dell 1350cnw Performance

July 11, 2011 by Amber Riippa Reads (7,759)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service & Support
    • 7
    • Print Quality
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 6
    • Performance / Print Speed
    • 6
    • Features
    • 7
    • Operational Costs
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 6.67
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


Setting up the 1350cnw

Following Dell’s instructions on setting up the 1350cnw, you must unpack it, hook up the power and USB 2.0 (and Ethernet if desired) connections, turn the printer on, insert the included software and drivers CD-ROM and follow the on-screen instructions; then, load the paper. You do not need to manually install any of the cartridges unless they need to be replaced; they come already installed. The setup process took about five minutes without setting up wireless. After set-up and installation you are not forced to restart the computer, but it is recommended.

Left: the printer is found after manually entering the IP address and settings, Right: the Dell Easy Setup Navigator main screen

Ease of Use

The first thing I noticed while setting up the printer on the Wi-Fi manually was that it was extremely difficult to use the control panel using the up/down and left/right arrows. For example, to enter our network name, I had to scroll through every capital letter, lowercase letter, symbol and number one by one; and as if this wasn’t frustrating enough, I had to do the same process for all of the other settings. So, as far as ease-of-use, this part of the setup was not very easy if you are using the control panel on the printer rather than the Dell embedded web server to set up the wireless.

Using the Dell embedded web server was a breath of fresh air, and it can be used primarily to set up the wireless. To access it, you must print a settings report from the control panel and enter the IP address shown on the page. You may then go into the server settings page and enter the SSID, encryption setting type, network type, and encryption key. If this all seems like a foreign language, you may have problems setting up the wireless; if you’ve done this type of thing before or have a tech support person or team in your office the web server should not be a problem. Dell can also help guide you through the process if you contact the tech support team. The team we talked to said this process normally does not take more than 15 minutes.

The software included with the printer allows users to order supplies, check the status of the printer, quickly launch the support tools, and to change the settings of the printer. The software is quite simplistic and straightforward and easy to use–when working properly. There are no editors included in the software, most likely because this is a single function laser printer and is not known for photo printing.

The printer software’s Quick Launch Utility includes a Status Window, Tool Box, Updater, and a troubleshooting user’s guide. The Status Window displays the estimated toner levels for all of the installed cartridges, the mode of the printer (power saving, active, etc.), and also includes quick launch buttons for the print queue, ordering supplies, and the user’s guide. Business users should find the estimated toner level screen in the status window of use. The Tool Box is also very helpful, and can be used when setting the printer up. The first screen lists all of your printer information, including settings information for the menu, TCP/IP, and various information such as how long it takes a print job to time out and the maximum print speeds. The second screen includes maintenance options–here you can set things like how many minutes it will take for the printer to go into power-saving sleep mode, how long it should take for a job to time out, and the default paper size for printing. The third and last screen is a diagnosis window that you can use to print alignment and configuration charts and basically many tools to help you diagnose and solve a specific problem. This could be very helpful and may help solve any various problems with the printer. The updater is straight-forward; if there is an update for the software or drivers it will notify you. The last quick launch tool is the troubleshooter, which is just a simple user’s guide.

The Dell Supplies Management System can be used to order supplies such as replacement cartridges quickly without having to search and surf for the supplies on Dell’s website.Select the printer model and the desired URL for the supply from the drop-down boxes and then enter the service tag on your printer and it will automatically launch the direct web page that you need. Once you’re on that site it’ll ask for your printer type; select it and it will show all of the possible supplies. Otherwise, you can call Dell and order by telephone.

Print speed and quality tests

The 1350cnw has an advertised print speed on Dell’s 1350cnw product page of up to 15 ppm mono and 12 ppm color on 8.5 x 11 paper. We noticed a huge difference in our tests between the real world print speeds and the advertised print speeds. Moreover, there was no noticable difference with the black and white versus the color print speeds. We did all of our tests using a USB cable. In our black and white, 8.5 x 11 print speed test using the default setting we clocked a first page out time of 15 seconds and an average print speed of 9 ppm. We were able to print 40 pages with the same settings in 3 minutes, 18 seconds.

During our default color speed tests, the only difference was the first page out time. We clocked a first page out time of 31 seconds and an average of 9 pages per minute. The 1350cnw was able to print 40 pages in 3 minutes, 42 seconds.

Last but not least came the toner saving mode, which will sometimes produce slightly faster printouts. With the 1350cnw, however, the first page out time was faster than the color page out but not the black and white, and the average ppm was the same as both. We clocked a first page out time of 21 seconds, an average time of 9 ppm, and an overall print time for 40 pages of 3 minutes, 18 seconds.

Overall, we would rate the print speeds as “average.” They are, however, less than what is advertised for this printer and are also less speedy than the Dell 1250c.

The quality on the 1350cnw was good. Colors were accurate and contrast was evident. The black and white text printouts were dark, professional, and easy to read. Printing in toner saving mode produced readable results, but if you look closely there are really tiny “white spots” in it. This shouldn’t be a problem, though, as we never recommend handing a toner saving printout into anyone whom you approach in a professional manner. It should be good for printing notes, reminders, references papers, etc, out. Check out some of our sample pages that we printed out with the 1350cnw and then scanned in below.

Left: 8.5 x 11 color and text page (default setting), Right: 8.5 x 11 black and white sample page (default setting)

Left: 8.5 x 11 toner saver mode printout in black and white, Right: 8.5 x 11 red color page printout (default setting)



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