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Dell V725w All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer Review
The Dell V725w All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer is strong on office-oriented MFP and printer features.
(3.5 out of 5)
- Prints, scans, copies, and faxes
- Wired and WiFi network support
- Duplexer for printing on both sides of the page.
- Below par photo quality
- Low paper capacity
With only two inkjet multi-function printers (MFPs) currently available from Dell, calling the Dell V725w All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer ($169.99 direct) the top-of-the-line model would overstating the case. However, it is the more expensive of the two—the other being the Dell V525w All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer ($129.99, 3.5 stars) that I recently reviewed—and it adds a slightly higher paper capacity along with an Ethernet connector. What both have in common is that they’re reasonably good choices for micro and home offices, as well as for personal printers in any size office.
If you compared the two printers on Dell’s Web site, you’d likely conclude that the paper capacity and added network port were the only differences. All the other specs, from the claimed speed to the 10,000 page maximum monthly duty cycle, are the same. When it comes to printing, however, they’re very different, with the V725w delivering faster speed on our tests, but somewhat lower output quality.
That said, the two are similar in most other ways. Most important, both are limited to light-duty use, which makes them more appropriate as personal printers than shared printers. Between the two, the V725w is the better choice for sharing, because of the higher paper capacity. But even a 150-sheet input is on the meager side for a shared printer.
The similarity also extends to a long list of features, including, for example, WiFi support and built-in duplexers for printing on both sides of the page. And although the V725w is a bit larger than the V525w, at 9.9 by 18.3 by 15.9 inches (HWD), it’s still small enough to share a desk with comfortably, making it a good choice as a personal printer.
One other important similarity is that both printers are better suited for the office than for home use, thanks to relatively low photo quality in both cases, an emphasis on office-centric features, and an absence of photocentric features, like being able to print from a memory card, or other features aimed at home users.
The V725w can print and fax from, as well as scan to, a PC, even over a network, and it can work as a standalone copier and fax machine. The fax support, as well as the duplexer, is of particular interest for office use. So is the 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF), which supplements the letter-size flatbed to let you scan legal-size pages as well as multi-page documents.
As with the V525w, the only photocentric feature in the V725w is the ability to print directly from PictBridge cameras, and even the PictBridge connector doubles for office use, giving you the convenience of letting you scan to or print from a USB memory key.
Speed, Output Quality, and Other Issues
For my tests, I used the V725w’s Ethernet port to connect to a wired network, and I ran the tests from a system running Windows Vista. Setup was typical for the breed. On our business applications suite, I clocked the printer (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), at 3.1 pages per minute (ppm), just a touch faster than the V525w, at 2.9 ppm.
Although this speed isn’t impressive, it’s not unreasonably slow either. The similarly priced Editors’ Choice HP Officejet 6700 Premium e-All-in-One ($169.99 direct, 4 stars), for example, was only a little faster, at 3.4 ppm. Photo speed was faster than most inkjets, at 38 seconds on average for a 4 by 6. However, the photo quality is below par, which makes the speed largely irrelevant.
Output quality overall is also a touch below par. More precisely, text is dead on par, but both graphics and photos are just below par, at the bottom of the tight range where the vast majority of inkjets fall.
Text quality is good enough for most business needs, which means you shouldn’t have a problem with it unless you have an unusual need for small fonts. The graphics are good enough for any internal business need, but showed moderate banding in some large areas of solid fills. Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you may or may not consider it good enough for, say, PowerPoint handouts. Photo quality is a touch below what I would expect from drugstore prints, with noticeably oversaturated color in most of our test photos.
One last issue worth mention, as another key difference between the V525w and V725w, is a lower running cost for the V725w. Although both printers use the same standard ink cartridges, and both have high-capacity cartridges available, the V725w’s high-capacity black cartridge gives you a lower cost per page, at 2.4 cents per monochrome page and 14.4 cents per color page, or a savings of 1.3 cents per page in both cases compared to the V525w. That works out to a savings of $13 per 1,000 pages, which means that if you print just 4,000 pages over the printer’s lifetime, and you can pay for the difference in price for the more expensive model.
The poor photo quality rules the Dell V725w All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer out for anyone who needs high-quality photos. If you need an MFP for office use, however, that shouldn’t matter. More important is that the printer offers all the core MFP features you’ll likely need, plus such conveniences as a duplexer and the ability to print from and scan to a USB key. Its low paper capacity is a little limiting, but for light-duty print needs, it can be a good fit as either a personal printer or as a shared printer in a micro or home office.
By M. David Stone, PCMag