Performance

April 13, 2012 by Sarah Meyer Reads (15,853)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service & Support
    • 6
    • Print Quality
    • 8
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Performance / Print Speed
    • 7
    • Features
    • 6
    • Operational Costs
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 6.83
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Performance

Setting up the Dell V725w
The Dell V725w’s setup was very user friendly, giving its customers plenty of options on how they’d like to install their new printer. Once you’ve unpacked the V725w, pop in the provided CD-Rom. From there, the installation wizard will let you proceed with the standard install or to select the advanced set up. If you choose the advanced options, you will run the custom install and/or install additional software and admin tools.

If not, the standard install will ask if you’d like to run through the standard step-by-step instructions you’d find in any setup guide. I’d suggest skipping it if you’ve ever setup a printer before but to each their own. Either way, once the printer is ready – paper loaded, ink cartridges installed, alignment run – you’ll need to select the connection type. I set up our V725w over a wireless connection. Just plug in the provided USB cord and the wizard will do the rest.

After the initial installation, you can also choose to setup advanced features including: scan-to computer, standalone email and fax settings. Once complete, your V725w is ready to go!

Ease of Use
Dell worked with Lexmark when designing their new lineup of inkjets and I could tell once I started using the V725w control panel and software.

Starting with the control panel, the V725w has a 2.4-inch color display with three main device menus – scan, copy and fax – featured. Scroll down to access the rest of the menu options including: memory device, shortcuts and setup.

The menus are simple enough to navigate through and all the settings can be changed through the setup menu. Or create shortcuts for favorite actions through the Dell embedded web server. Shortcuts include: ID Card Copy, Eco-Copy and a variety of Scan-to options.

Despite the fact that V725w is designed as an office device, it does offer some software for users I saw during my Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro5500. The Dell Printer Home is almost identical to the Lexmark Printer Home and you’ll also have access to an embedded web server if you set up the V725w over a network connection.

Dell Printer Home offers access to the scan software and scan-to features, maintenance, support, printer settings, the user’s guide and fax settings.

I found the fax machine is easy to use and users can adjust fax settings through the setup menu on the control panel or the Dell Printer Home as I mentioned above. I sent and received faxes with little effort and the V725w has color fax capability (depending on the machine it’s sending to/ receiving from).

The scanner worked well on the V725w and users can scan to network, scan to email, scan to file or scan to memory device. I did notice that when scanning multiple photos at once, the scanner does not automatically separate them into individual files, but if you use Dell Printer Home, there is an option.

But like I found with the OfficeEdge Pro5500 scan software that’s found in Lexmark printer Home, if you use the Dell Printer Home to scan items from the V725w, you should be prepared to interact with the printer by selecting your scan profile and then hitting scan. It’s actually a good way to keep scans organized when multiple people might be trying to use the device at once. But if you hate it, you can turn off this feature so it scans immediately.

Print Speed and Quality Tests
Dell advertises ISO print speeds – 10 ppm in black and 6 ppm in color – as well as draft print speeds – 35 ppm in black and 30 ppm in color. As typical of most inkjets, the V725 was not close to printing 35 ppm even when printing in draft print mode. When printing our 40-page black and white text document, the fastest the V725w printed was 16 ppm with a first page out in about 8 seconds.

Dell’s normal print mode was more accurate, with the V725w printing at a pace of about 10 ppm with a first page out in about 10 seconds. When you throw color in to the mix, the V725w slows down to about 6 ppm with a first page out in about 13 seconds. These print speeds are very competitive with other business inkjets in the V725w class.

Quality wise, the normal print mode is the clear winner with solid, easy to read text but I was impressed with the draft mode quality. The type was almost identical with a few exceptions; the main difference was the color. The draft print documents were just slightly faded. Let me put it this way; if I was running low on ink, I would have no problem turning in a term paper that I had printed in draft print mode.


V725w normal print sample, left, V725w draft print sample, right (both scanned in with V725w)

The V725w is labeled as a flexible option for office or home, but from all outward appearances, it seems more geared towards the business side of things. For example, there is no photo tray, no photo software and no memory card options which are all features you find on more consumer driven products. But it did offer photo printing so I tested it.

Speed wise, I thought the V725w did an excellent job. On average, the V725w printed a borderless 8.5 x 11 color photo in just over a minute and a half. As for 4×6 prints, the V725w printed a borderless photo in just over 30 seconds.


Original digital image, left, Dell V725w print sample, right (scanned in with V725w)

Quality wise, I thought the V725w did a good job. There were some resolution issues where the images weren’t as sharp as they should be, but the colors were point. The blacks could have been better, deeper, but for a sub-$200 inkjet looking for a home in an office, the photo quality will suffice.


Dell V725w print samples (scanned in with the V725w)


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