Dell B1160w Review



Dell's B1160w is one of the few wireless monochrome laser printers in this price range. With 32MB of memory, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, this is an affordable choice for home users who need a printer that networks and gets the job done quickly.

Despite some nits that get picked in Dell B1160w (starting at $67, Amazon) reviews, this black-and-white laser printer is a darn good choice for budget shoppers. In fact, it would be hard to find any better model for such a low price. CNET says in its review that the printer is a cinch to set up and the Wi-Fi connection for wireless and networked printing is a welcome feature, but it grouses about the absence of an Ethernet port and the limited feature set. On the other hand, the B1160w is good where it counts. Testing by CNET found that text prints out sharp and dark and at a speed of 17 pages per minute although graphics and photo print results are nothing special. A review by PC Mag takes the opposite tack, saying photo and graphics printout is above par for black-and-white laser printers while text quality falls short. This expert also laments the B1160w's relatively low paper capacity and lack of support for duplexing and wired networking. Users, meanwhile, are largely thrilled with the printer. Dell B1160w reviews at Dell's site comment on the speed, wireless capability, easy setup, quality output, and value price. One trucker reports relying on the printer for emails and work documents while he's on the road and an attorney says he carries it with him to meetings. A few users complain about the frequent need to replace toner cartridges and their cost.

With a footprint of 13 x 8.5 x 7 inches and weight of 8.8 pounds, the B1160w fits almost anywhere. Its maximum resolution is 1200 x 1200 dpi and the manufacturer-rated print speed is 21ppm. It features 32MB of RAM, a 300MHz CPU, an input tray for 150 sheets and an output tray that holds 100. The B1160w connects to a wireless network or to a single computer through a USB 2.0 connection and responds to commands from Android mobile devices. The B1160w is compatible with Windows (including Windows 8), Linux, and OS X 10.4 to 10.7. It accepts a wide variety of media, including transparencies, envelopes, labels, archive paper, cardstock, cotton, legal, letter, and A4/A5-sized paper.

The Dell B1160w is a good choice for budget-minded home users. It doesn't have all the features one might need in a small office printer, but its wireless networking support, fast print speeds, and solid text printout are laudable and practical strengths.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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