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
Hardware Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Dell 2150cdn review


Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The Dell 2150cdn colour laser printer looks like a business bargain.

The Dell 2150cdn colour laser printer looks like a business bargain.

Its low purchase price buys you good performance and some expandability. Higher-volume offices should note, however, that the Dell 2150cdn's toner costs range from just average to expensive.

Dark, sharp-edged, and monolithic, the 2150cdn has a no-nonsense look that reflects its features. Standard paper handling includes a 250-sheet paper cassette, a manual-feed slot, a 150-sheet top output bin, and automatic duplexing (two-sided printing). Dell sells an optional second 250-sheet paper cassette.

The Dell 2150cdn printer comes with 256MB of RAM (upgradable to 768MB) and carries a one-year warranty. Toner cartridges are easy to reach via a side panel, and the entire front of the printer folds down for easy access to paper jams (with removal of the drum). The control panel's two-line LCD and small cluster of buttons are simple to use, and the LCD's messages, while curt, are only occasionally confusing.

The Dell 2150cdn provides middling speed. In tests, plain-text pages printed at 15.1 pages per minute on the PC and 13.7 ppm on the Mac. A half-page photo on the PC printed at 2.8 ppm at default settings and 1.24 ppm at finer settings. A full-page, high-resolution photo printed on the Mac exited at an underwhelming 0.8 ppm.

Although we liked the output quality from the Dell 2150cdn, we had to work hard to achieve it. Our test model suffered colour-registration problems: The colours weren't lining up, resulting in fuzzy or off-kilter images.

The Dell 2150cdn printer's own automated registration-adjustment tool was unable to correct the issue. Several tedious rounds with the manual registration controls were necessary to set things right. (Notably, we ran into the same issue with the nearly identical Xerox Phaser 6500DN.) Once we tweaked the settings, colour graphics looked realistic and mostly crisp, with just a little fuzziness in finer details. Text was nearly impeccable.

Workgroups considering the Dell 2150cdn should note that two sizes of toner cartridges are available. The standard-size, 1200-page cartridges are very expensive: The £61 black cartridge comes to 5p per page, while each £76 colour (cyan, magenta, yellow) is 6.3p per page. A four-colour page would cost 24p.

The high-yield cartridges include a £90, 3000-page black (3p per page) and £90, 2500-page colours (3.6p apiece per page), which work out to 13.3p for a four-colour page. These prices are about average.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also:

Group test: what's the best budget printer?

Group test: what's the best printer?

Printing Advisor: Printer reviews, tutorials and support

Printer reviews

Dell 2150cdn Expert Verdict »

Workgroup colour laser printer
USB, Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T
Max Resolution: 600x600dpi
250-sheet input tray, 1-sheet multipurpose tray
400MHz processor
Media Type: Envelopes, labels, plain paper, coated paper, postcard, recycled paper, cover paper
Media Weight: 60 g/m2 - 216 g/m2
Total Media Capacity: 250 sheets
Media Feeder(s): autoload - 250 sheets
Max Media Capacity: 501 sheets, Output Trays Capacity: 150 sheets
Monthly Duty Cycle: 40000 pages
Print server
Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
Hi-Speed USB, network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

The Dell 2150cdn offers a decent serving of workgroup-printing capabilities for a temptingly low purchase price. You won't get a break on the toner pricing, unfortunately. A model in about the same price range, with cheaper consumables, is the Brother HL-4570CDW.

  • Dell 5130cdn review

    Dell 5130cdn

    The Dell 5130cdn colour laser printer aims high - and on nearly all counts, it succeeds.

  • HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color Printer M451dn review

    HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color Printer M451dn

    Tuned for speed and attractive output, the HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color Printer M451dn is a small-office printer that sings - but it hits a sour note with high-priced toner and expensive memory.

  • Kyocera ECOSYS P6030cdn review: colour laser printer offers volume, value, speed and quality

    Kyocera ECOSYS P6030cdn: colour laser printer offers volume, value, speed and quality

    The Kyocera ECOSYS P6030cdn is a colour laser printer that offers volume, speed and quality, with cost-saving features. Here's our Kyocera ECOSYS P6030cdn review.

  • Brother MFC-9450CDN review

    Brother MFC-9450CDN

    Brother's MFC-9450CDN colour laser multifunction printer juggles speed, features, output quality, and design well enough to be a worthy choice for most small offices or small workgroups.

  • Dell 1350cnw review

    Dell 1350cnw

    The Dell 1350cnw colour printer is distinctive for using LED technology instead of the more-common laser to create crisp results, as well as for including wireless connectivity (a still somewhat unusual feature among office printers).

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

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

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...