We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
15,670 Reviews

Dell 2145cn review

£599 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Dell 2145cn colour laser multifunction printer (MFP) offers some useful features for a midrange price, and the quality of its installation and documentation show how much Dell cares about the user experience.

The Dell 2145cn colour laser multifunction printer (MFP) offers some useful features for a midrange price, and the quality of its installation and documentation show how much Dell cares about the user experience.

The Dell 2145cn's design makes it difficult to use, however, and it performed very slowly.

Dell deserves credit for a painless setup and excellent documentation. The installation wizard worked seamlessly. The PDF-based user guide covers all aspects of the MFP's operation in detail, from instructions for using the bundled applications and embedded web monitor to how to use the Dell 2145cn MFP in Linux.

Unfortunately we needed the documentation a bit more than usual because the Dell 2145cn's design can be confusing. On the control panel, the buttons for major functions (such as copy and fax) have icons rather than word labels; text labels and icons are hard to read because they are gray on a black background; and the menu-navigation buttons have black-on-black stamped icons that are almost invisible.

A large front handhold opens the 100-sheet multipurpose tray if you pull down; if you pull up, you open the entire front panel to expose the Dell 2145cn's toner cartridges and the transfer belt. A label indicating the difference would have been nice.

Paper handing is pretty good. The standard, 250-sheet paper drawer is maybe too sturdy: on our Dell 2145cn, the paper guides were very stiff and difficult to move. An additional 500-sheet internal tray costs more. The output area is a small cave underneath the control panel and holds a somewhat skimpy 170 sheets. The 50-sheet automatic document feeder is generous, as is the standard automatic duplexing.

Printer reviews and buying advice

The Dell 2145cn performed disappointingly in our tests. Dell designated PostScript as the unit's primary printer language; using that driver, it printed plain text at a rate of just 14.3 pages per minute (ppm), well below Dell's promise of 21ppm. Its graphics speed was the slowest we've tested to date: 1.7ppm.

Scan and copy speeds also lagged behind the pack. Print quality suffered from an overall ruddiness, with blotchy skin tones and a pinkish cast to grayscale images. Scanned images looked slightly dark and blurry.

Business IT reviews and advice

The Dell 2145cn's toner costs are average compared with those of other colour laser MFPs. The 2145cn ships with standard 2500-page black and 2000-page colour cartridges, whose costs are a bit above-average.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>


Dell 2145cn Expert Verdict »

Colour laser printer
Standard Resolution: 600x600dpi
Printer Enhanced Resolution: 2400x600dpi
Monthly Duty Cycle: 65,000 Pages
Mono Toner Life: 2,500 Pages
Colour Toner Life: 2,000 Pages
Colour Fax, 33.6Kbps
Colour Copier, Resolution: 600x600dpi
Scanner, A4 Flatbed ADF
Scanner Optical Resolution: 600x1200dpi
Scanner Resolution Enhanced: 4800x 4800dpi, A4, 24-bit colour
Double Sided Printing (Duplex)
Automatic Document Feeder
A4, A5, A6, B5, Folio, Executive, Statement, Monarch, Oficio
128 MB
10 BaseT/100 BaseTX
PictBridge, USB 2.0, RJ-45
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Dell's 2145cn Multifunction Colour Laser Printer is designed for a busy workgroup, but there are several choices available that are faster and easier to operate; and some may have a lower price tag.

  • Xerox Phaser 6180MFP colour laser multifunction printer

    Xerox Phaser 6180MFP colour laser multifunction printer

    The Xerox Phaser 6180MFP is a higher-end colour laser MFP offering good performance and features. But it's not for the budget-conscious.

  • Dell 3115cn multifunction colour laser printer review

    Dell 3115cn multifunction colour laser printer

    Speed and expandability are the Dell 3115cn multifunction colour laser printer's forte, making up for its subpar photos and design quirks.

  • Brother MFC-9440CN multifunction printer

    Brother MFC-9440CN multifunction printer

    While it may not be the first name you think of for printing, Brother International has built a strong niche in the small business space. Its latest colour laser multifunction printer (MFP) printer is the Brother MFC-9440CN.

  • Xerox Phaser 6128MFP review

    Xerox Phaser 6128MFP

    The Xerox Phaser 6128MFP colour laser multifunction printer could be a good choice for low-volume users who have exacting colour needs. It sells for a nice, low price and produces high-quality output - but it does so slowly, and at a high consumables cost.

  • HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color MFP M475dw review

    HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color MFP M475dw

    The HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color MFP M475dw is an office laser multifunction printer that offers great output and paper handling. But as our HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color MFP M475dw review shows, this printer earns merely average scores in other respects.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model