Dell has proven itself pretty capable in the printer market in the past and adds a couple of dedicated mono lasers to its range in the 1130 series. Aside from the fact that the 1130n adds network access and faster print speeds, they are effectively the same device, promising nothing more than the ability to produce fast, clean prints with a minimum of fuss.
The 1130 is just about capable of stretching out of the home market into home and small business, offering a 250-sheet paper tray, an 80-sheet bin and a single sheet feeder for a little more precision. It supports a range of paper types and weights as you’d expect and unless you opt for the network version, connects directly via USB.
The design is unassuming enough and we would be tempted to talk about how tidy it is if it weren’t for the rather unsightly bulge at the rear which, due to the fact that the power and data cable are plugged into the back of it, means the printer will be pushed some distance from the wall. It’s not a major issue but is unlikely to contribute towards a tidy office.
There’s no LCD display and the device instead opts for a couple of warning lights, a multi-purpose "cancel" control and power button, so most of the configuration will be done through the device driver software supplied. This is quite tidy though, offering manual duplex printing and all of the expected quality control, including the ability to add watermarks and overlays.
It takes around 30 seconds for the Dell 1130 to warm up from cold but once it gets started it’ll run through a job very quickly. The 18ppm quoted speed was spot on in our tests, and even if you throw in some graphics and visuals it manages to maintain this quite well.
Quality is excellent - we couldn’t pick any holes in the sharpness or weight of text, and it’s certainly capable of recreating finer details in graphics and smaller font sizes without any drop in clarity. In fact we can’t find anything to criticise about its performance and aside from our issues with the design there’s only one other consideration worth bearing in mind.
At £75 the 1130 isn’t exactly overpriced but with extremely capable MFDs (multi-function devices) doing the rounds for the same or a little more, we’re wondering how long standalones such as this will be able to argue their case.
Dell’s 1130 is a solid, no-nonsense laserjet that offers impressive speeds and impressive quality. Though there aren’t a lot of additional features here for the modern user, those that would require them are likely to go for an MFD anyway so if this is the sort of solution that appeals you won’t go far wrong.