Review: Dell's S3840 Color Printer Could Lessen Toner Woes


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Dell may not be the first manufacturer that comes to mind when one thinks of office printers, but with the new S3840 the company is making a strong case for reconsideration.

CRN Test Center

The single-function color printer is one of two that Dell has just brought to market, along with the S3845 multifunction printer, and the company is looking to move them with the help of the channel.

[Related: Dell Exec Touts New Bargain Enterprise Printers And The Partners To Sell Them]

The CRN Test Center has been trying out the S3840 and found it produces detailed prints in both color and black and white, while its print speeds live up to the promise of 36 pages per minute.

We also enjoyed the easy setup and 5-inch LCD touch screen, and the printer works with Dell's OpenManage Printer Essentials software, which offers simplified management of printer fleets.

The S3840 should do the job for the medium to large businesses that Dell is targeting with the printer.

But the real reason to consider the printer is the price differentiation. The S3840 is priced at $599.99, compared with the $799.99 starting price of a comparable printer in HP's line, the M553dn (though that printer has been reduced to $639.99 on the HP website).

The bigger cost issue to consider with a heavy-usage printer is the price of the toner, and that's where Dell's newest printer really shines.

For color copies, the S3840 has a cost of 9.1 cents per page. By contrast, color copies will cost 25 percent more with HP's M553dn, or 11.4 cents per page, based on current toner prices.

Dell has achieved the lower costs per page using new technology for more efficient toner usage — which means less waste, as well as lower energy consumption — meaning that the new S3840 may also be the choice for offices looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

For channel partners and enterprises that are keeping an eye out for a solid office printer that keeps costs to a minimum, Dell's S3840 may be worthy of consideration.

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