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The Product: Dell V305 (w) All in One Printer About Dell: In order to accurately review this printer, I have today visited the Dell website, something I have not had to do for a while. Their homepage is user friendly and as you would expect from a global computer business is slick and self promoting. For example did you know that Dell are sponsors of the 2014 Commonwealth Games? I didn't - but we all do now! I easily changed the USA homepage to UK settings and found the page for the V305 Printer. Dell started out as a cheaper solution to computing needs and some of their earlier laptops took a bit of a bashing in the media. The computers we use in the UK now are mostly made in Czechoslovakia, so if air miles worry you, they have not travelled as far as they might have. I did not realise that Dell was founded in 1984, nor that it now has various community initiatives or that their full history can be found on the website. I will leave you to decide if you want to check it or not, the point here is to review the V305 Printer, but the website is: http://www.dell.co.uk/ Today, I think it is safe to say Dell is a leading brand in home and business computer solutions. The V305 Printer: Measures 46 cm long by 30 cm wide, is a three in one printer, copier and scanner that is finished in a black and cream colour scheme that to me is reminiscent of good Italian styling (think posh shoes or cars!). Included in the box are the following items: V305 User's Guide, Installation CD, Power Cord, Standard Colour and Black Cartridges, Set Up Instructions in the form of a useful easy to follow colour poster. If I remember correctly it came out of the box pretty much in one piece, just attach the power and computer cables and it is ready to go. There is a simple paper feed at the rear that holds a few pages at a time and the printed paper comes out of the front, where there is a pull out extender tray in case it is going to be used on a narrow surface. The lid lifts up to reveal a glass top for scanning and photocopying. The user buttons are well laid out and very easy to use. Comprising of a simple on/off button a cancel button, a re-do button a green arrow for go button and a simple rocker switch for reading through the menus that are split into logical sections, with a tick button in the centre which you press to confirm a required function. The display is easy to read and is a small section on the right hand side above the buttons. The printer features a built in pict bridge facility where it takes two different sized cards and a USB for memory sticks/pen drives for direct printing. I have never tried this facility, but I can imagine that it may be very useful facility for some. The printer is an energy star product. It is quick to go to sleep and easy to wake up. My Personal Experience of the V305w: START-UP: Well, once I had the computer, keyboard, mouse, speakers and printer all set up I ran a test print on the printer and was pleased to see it ran a fairly standard zigzag multi-coloured test print as well as some random text and black lines. PRINTING: I would say that the first 700 pages were trouble free, I would pop a few pages at a time into the feed tray, print what I needed and did not give it much thought. If I wanted to print in colour I would print in colour, if I wanted black print - that's what I got. I printed a few photo's and they came out pretty good too, considering I was not using photo paper and it is not a photo printer. In fact t.b.h., now I think about it the photo quality is pretty amazing for such a low cost printer. The previous printer I had was supposed to be photo quality and was disappointing, this Dell is much better and good enough for home use. SCANNING: I do a bit of mystery shopping and it is essential that receipts and some paperwork is scanned to be forwarded to head office. This is where I have a bit of a bug bare with the V305. If I place something small to be scanned on the glass, it goes through all the motions and leaves a bit out. If on the other hand I scan an A4 sized document it shows everything. This does not make sense to me. I get round it by placing another bit of paper on top of the one to be scanned, but then sometimes it scans so well that you get the shadow of the print from the other side on the scanned document! So, I need to remember to use a blank piece of paper. It did take a fair bit of frustration to figure out that there was not a right place to put the smaller document, wherever I put it a bit was being missed. However, it is easy enough to put a piece of paper on top. PHOTCOPYING: The photocopying is excellent, it is very easy to use, copies very accurately and was such a treat when I first bought this machine! SPEED: I would not say this printer is quick at any function, however, we have recently had new printers installed at work (all in ones). They are so slow, so, by comparison this little baby is quite quick. CARTRIDGES: The cartridges are easy to fit and if you had one of the old HP DeskJet Printers like I did, are virtually identical visually and to fit as those. Simply lift up the top half of the machine, the cartridge carrier auto centers, unclip the obvious clip, remove the old cartridge and replace with the new one once you have peeled of the transit film. Close the printer and add paper to run a print check. The printer displays on the PC when the ink is getting low, when it is empty and when you are down to reservoir only. It is possible to buy the ink directly from Dell by following the instructions on the printer. However, I buy mine from Cartridge People. SPECIFICATIONS (OR THE TECHNICAL BIT): Printer Type All-in-One Printer Technology Inkjet Output Type Colour Black print speed up to 25 ppm Max Resolution (BW) 4800 x 1200 dpi Colour print speed up to 18 ppm Max Resolution (Colour) 4800 x 1200 dpi Platform PC Technical Features Extend Printer Technology Inkjet Computer Operating System Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP Monthly Duty Volume 3000 Pages Interface USB 2.0 Form Factor Desktop Direct Printing Capabilities Print Photos Without a PC Media Type Banners, Cards, Envelopes, Glossy Paper, Heavy-Weight Matte Paper, Iron-On Transfers, Labels, Photo Paper, Plain Paper, Transparencies Multifunction Features Zoom Range, Reduction 25% Zoom Range, Enlargement 400% Networking Networking Type Wireless Network Adapter Memory Installed RAM 32 MB Internal Hard Drive Size 800 MB Scanner Resolution 1200 x 2400 dpi PROBLEMS/TROUBLESHOOTING: Well generally the printer has been great and it is now approaching its 4th birthday! Occasionally, for some reason the printer and PC stop communicating, but that is an easy software fix. I have had a couple of paper jams, frustrating as it carries on printing onto the roller, but again, easy to overcome. Now that the printer is a little older and I am told due to the light use it gets, I now find that a frequently have to nudge or encourage the paper roller to grab the paper, however, it does auto-adjust if it has not picked it up straight away and prints the page as I expect it. WHAT ABOUT WIRELESS USE: Yes I have the w at the end of my V305, which means it is wireless compatible. I use it mostly with a cable and the PC, however, we do occasionally use it wireless with the laptop and it has always performed very well. So why did I choose the Dell V305? Well, basically, I was in the market to update my home PC, we had had three batches of suites of Dell computers delivered to my work place and the lovely boffins in IT services, kindly offered to build me exactly what I wanted, using a Dell based machine. After we sat down and worked out my wishes and requirements, we discovered that it would be considerably cheaper for me to buy virtually the same thing direct from Dell. Add in a student discount as I was a part-time student and it actually worked out that with the student discount the printer was the equivalent of free. In CONCLUSION: I bought this printer as part of a package from Dell, but I see no reason at all why one would not work with another computer as it has the necessary operating system (OS). On the whole I have been very pleased with the quality and reliability if the V305, the few minor niggles have been easy to resolve and the printer being an all in one is an efficient use of space. I now use a computer generated watermark and photo on my headed papers and a photo logo for my husband's business. The print quality is professional and more than acceptable. I would like to give the V305(w) 4.5 out of 5, because it is agood value for money printer, but not perfect. Therefore I have to drop it to 4/5. Price and Availability: My Dell V305w cost me just £63.91. They are currently £79.95 from Dell. Replacement cartridges cost anything from around £18.00 - £28.00 depending on capacity and if it is black or colour. They do last quite well though. A quick check shows the printer on sale from just 99p used on eBay at the time of writing. Thank you for reading my review and I hope you found it useful.