Dell 1320c Colour Laser Printer

The Dell 1320c is a decent choice for a small office or work group, but a little more cash will net you a faster printer with better print quality.


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CNET Rating
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User Rating

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The Dell 1320c is a low-cost, colour laser printer geared for small businesses or work groups. The USB-only printer is slower than its competition with black prints but picks up the slack on colour prints. Though not without its faults, the print quality is sufficient for most business uses. If you print a ton of black text documents, you're better off with the Lexmark C500n, and if you want a better balance of print speeds between color and black, try the Oki C3400n. The Oki's print quality is a bit better than the Dell's, too.

Design
The Dell 1320c's design is basic and straightforward, befitting its small-office role. The dark grey printer sits 40cm wide, 42.2cm deep, and 38.7cm tall, and weighs a bit over 17 kilograms. The control panel is limited to two buttons (cancel and continue) and a graphic representation of the printer with LEDs that light up to indicate where a problem is occurring. For example, the paper tray area icon lights up when the tray is open, and the four toner icons light up if toner is running low -- useful since the printer lacks a text LCD.

The main paper tray holds 250 sheets of regular paper, and a single-sheet manual feed slot resides on the front of the paper tray. The input capacity is not expandable on this model. The top-mounted output bin holds up to 150 sheets.

The four toner cartridges are hidden behind a panel on the right side of the printer. The cartridges for this unit are small and lightweight. Pulling them out, however, causes toner to dust your desktop -- you've been forewarned. Each cartridge comes in two capacities: 1,000 prints and 2,000 prints. The monthly duty cycle is 35,000 prints.

Features
The Dell 1320c has the features you'd expect from a basic colour laser printer. The base model connects via USB only, but you can add on a network adapter for AU$99. It ships with a 333MHz processor and 64MB of nonexpandable memory. There's no duplexer unit available for the 1320c, but the printer's driver will assist you with a manual duplex print job. Likewise, the driver can help you shrink or enlarge a print, create a poster or booklet print, and make N-up prints.

Performance
Compared to its similarly priced competition, the Dell 1320c is a bit slow with black prints, but faster with colour. It printed black text at a rate of 12.11ppm, slower than the Samsung CLP-300N, the Oki C3400n, and the Lexmark C500n. With black graphics, it fell well behind both the Lexmark and the Oki, but was much faster than the Samsung. The Dell was the fastest of the bunch at color prints, just edging out the Oki and was the second fastest at colour graphics, falling behind the Oki.

CNET Labs' colour laser speed tests (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Colour graphics
Colour text
Black graphics
Black text
Lexmark C500n
6.43
6.88
19.80
19.86
Oki C3400n
11.92
8.38
16.01
15.55
Samsung CLP-300
3.71
3.77
3.68
13.49
Dell 1320c
9.94
8.79
13.11
12.11

The Dell's print quality was more than serviceable for a small office or work group. The black text print showed excellent quality, though the text leaned more toward dark grey than a true black. The colour text could be improved with better colour blending. The black graphics print looked faded (again, more dark grey than black), and the photo elements need to be sharpened up. The colour graphics print showed the most problems. We saw banding in colour and greyscale gradients, and the colours were too ruddy while the blacks weren't dark enough. We also noticed that the Dell had problems handling barcode patterns. On the other hand, the photo elements showed good detail, and colour blocks were nicely saturated. Overall, the Dell 1320c's print quality is good enough for normal office use, but it's not the best choice if you value speedy black prints.

CNET Labs' colour laser quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color graphics
Color text
Black graphics
Black text
Lexmark C500n
Good
Good
Excellent
Excellent
Oki C3400n
Fair
Good
Good
Excellent
Dell 1320c
Fair
Good
Good
Excellent
Samsung CLP-300
Fair
Good
Fair
Good

Dell backs the 1320c with a standard one-year warranty, though you can pay to extend the warranty to up to five years. The company's Web site provides drivers and downloads, FAQs, manuals, as well as user forums.

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Jason
10
Rating
 

Jason posted a review   

The Good:Cheap to Run!

The Bad:Nothing!

Best printer, great for home users!

Sean
10
Rating
 

Sean posted a review   

The Good:Fast, Cheap

The Bad:Nothing!

I have had this printer now for over a year and its the best printer I have EVER owned. The quality is great for what I need and the toners seem to last forever! Very happy with my Dell 1320C.

 

con0428 posted a comment   

The Good:I like the printer

The Bad:bought another cannot install

I have used the 1320c for a couple of years now, needed to replace drum, still has some life in it so I purchased a new machine for the home office and took the old one to work office. Problem, cannot install new machine, problem cannot install old machine to laptop in office. Cannnot install any of the machines!! On the home laptop an installation error appears suggesting I contact dell, did so , no joy. I now have two printers, ( that I like) but cannot use either of them. I am hoping that a imple solution can be found. I cannot uninstall the programme either...

morgan
3
Rating
 

morgan posted a review   

The Good:not really sure

The Bad:print quality is extremely bad

straight out of the box the print quality was faded. a quick look online and it looks like this is not a fixable problem, or something that can be fixed if I buy a new PHP unit for about $100. My husband won this brand new in a contest, and my office paid him $50 for it. After time spent installing, etcetera, not even worth that.

Danny
8
Rating
 

Danny posted a review   

The Good:Looks good and inexpensive

The Bad:no auto-duplexer

I like this printer.




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User Reviews / Comments  Dell 1320c Colour Laser Printer

  • Jason

    Jason

    Rating10

    "Best printer, great for home users!"

  • Sean

    Sean

    Rating10

    "I have had this printer now for over a year and its the best printer I have EVER owned. The quality is great for what I need and the toners seem to last forever! Very happy with my Dell 1320C."

  • con0428

    con0428

    "I have used the 1320c for a couple of years now, needed to replace drum, still has some life in it so I purchased a new machine for the home office and took the old one to work office. Problem, ca..."

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