Setting up the P713w
Upon opening the P713w, users will find a blue and white Dell welcome packet. The quick setup sheet is the first page of the packet and directs beginners to start with installation CD before plugging in or attaching the printer to anything.
The CD launches a setup wizard; begin installation by choosing software downloads including the option to download the latest software and firmware available from Dell.com. You will need internet access to take advantage of this option.
After you’ve chosen your software, the P713w wizard will take users through a step by step set up of the printer on the PC and on the printer’s touch screen, including video animation of print head and cartridge installation.
Once you’ve correctly installed the print head and cartridges, the P713w will print an alignment page. Once finished, users will be prompted to choose a connection type. The P713w offers wireless, Ethernet and USB connections. I chose to use the P713w over our wireless network and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was compared to the first generation P703w. I had zero problems connecting the P713w to our network and printing from multiple PCs. You will need a temporary USB cable to complete the wireless setup but Dell provides a USB cable in the box.
After the printer is successfully configured, the installation is nearly complete unless you chose to update the printer software and firmware. If so, the installation wizard will need an additional few minutes for updating. If not, you’ll just need to decide whether you want to register your product and participate in a customer survey.
The welcome packet also included: a network getting started guide, a quick reference guide, product information guide, and a dust cloth for the touch screen.
Ease of use
I loved the Dell touch screen control panel because it looked great, it was a responsive touch, and the menu was easy to navigate. The touch screen consists of three main options: scan, copy, and memory print. Below the three main options are three extra options: eco mode, duplex print, and settings. Duplex print is simply a quick key while the other two bring up additional options. There is also a green quick copy button to the right.
As far as the scanner is concerned, it was relatively quick and I liked all the scan-to options Dell presents on the touch screen. Users can scan-to a file, USB flash drive, e-mail, photo gallery, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, etc. The P713w also presents scanning options: color vs. black and white, scan quality mode, a preview option, etc.
The memory card device menu allows users to print photos, documents or attach files directly from a card or flash drive to an e-mail. I love that you can print document off the USB flash drive because I have noticed you couldn’t do that with several of the P713w’s peers or the first generation P703w. However, The P713w does not have a dedicated photo tray so make sure to double check the print layout before hitting the start button. I managed to waste ten pages of 4×6 photo paper because I didn’t check the paper tray and didn’t check the print layout.
For users who like to control their printer via their PC, Dell includes Dell Printer Home. Through Dell Printer Home, users can access several scan options, maintenance, support, scan settings, memory card transfers, etc. I did notice that you can not access print settings but that can easily be done through the print properties or preferences menu found in under the print menu.
Dell also has Dell Fast Pics, a program that pops up every time a device with images is connected to your PC. It’s fairly simple to use for users who want to print quick photos but the built-in memory card reader on the printer is just as easy.