Dell 3100cn vs. Lexmark C510

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by BLA, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. BLA macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #1
    I'm looking to buy an affordable color laser printer to go with a new iBook. Most of my printing will be in b&w, so speedy, high quality b&w is a must.

    I've pretty much narrowed the choice down to the Dell 3100cn and the Lexmark C510, but I'm having trouble deciding between them. Here are my thoughts and concerns.

    The Lexmark seems to be more unproblematically Mac compatible. Lexmark offers better Mac support, and there are (AFAIK) no Mac horror stories about this printer (and there seem to be a number about the Dell 3100cn). The Lexmark also seems a tad quicker at both b&w (30 ppm vs. 25 ppm) and color (8 ppm vs. 5 ppm) printing. I've found the Lexmark for about $100 less than the dell ($310 vs. $410)

    On the other hand, while the Dell comes with regular cartridges, the Lexmark ships with "starter" cartridges which quickly force you to purchase fullsize cartridges (this in effect ends up adding several hundred dollars to the price tag). The Dell also seems to deal better with envelopes, though its lousy driver software seems to minimize this advantage. Finally, I've read that the Lexmark is very noisy, even when resting (since this printer will be sitting in my office at work, this is potentially a major issue).

    Any forum readers have any experience with either of these printers? I'm especially interested in the relative noise of the two machines at rest, as well as Mac-compatibility issues with the Dell. Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice.
     
  2. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #2
    Anyone with any experience with the Dell 3100cn - anyone?

    I was surprised not to see any reply posts. My forum search turned up only this post on the 3100cn My HP 2100 has died after 4 yrs. I have a similar question as I'm in the market - how have folks liked the Dell 3100cn - it's currently $399, has 64 MB of RAM, ships with four full (4,000 page) cartridges, network connection, 300 MHz processor, 25 ppm b&w (compare that to the HP2600n - with 16 mb of ram and 8 ppm).

    What do folks think of the 3100n - or the HP2600 if you're using that?
     
  3. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #3
    Well - hearing no objections, the printer is ordered. I found some other sites where folks with Macs were using the 3100cn with great results and had no issues setting up the printer / having it work. These were all on networks, which is how I plan to use it.

    The stats are:

    4 full toner cartriges (Blk and colors)
    25 ppm Bk
    5 ppm color
    320 MB of RAM
    PostScript3
    10/100 Ethernet
    250 sheet drawer std.
    150 sheet feeder drawer
    One-year on-site warranty
    Mid $400s
     
  4. Err macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    #4
    i just picked up a dell 1700n, its B&W so i guess its no good for you, but it does work well with all computers on my network.
     
  5. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #5
    Thanks Err - good to hear that's it's working fine with your system / network. Were there drivers to install or did you just plug in into your network and your Mac(s) recognized it as a Bonjour printer?
     
  6. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #6
    price instability

    Well - $100 off yesterday (when I ordered)
    $150 off today (bringing base price to only $349)

    Ordering from dell has a "press your luck" feel to it (ahh, the 80s game shows) - you hit the buzzer when you think the price is lowest (okay in PYL, you were trying to hit the "big money, no wammies") , but you may not get it timed just right.

    It was still a good deal, so I'm not disappointed. Now if tomorrow it goes $200 off, then I may feel I had bad timing.

    To be fair - I did get $100 off with $80 off shipping ($20 to ship 88 lbs. - weight as reported by UPS)
     
  7. Err macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    #7
    I used Lexmark 332n OS X drivers because the Dell 1700n is a Lexmark 332n on the inside, my PC even detected it as a Lexmark, about your dell order, I had a similar thing happen to me when I ordered a 2005fpw display a few months back, I called them up and they refunded me the 20$ more the price had droped the next day... maybe worth a try. :)
     
  8. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #8
    Thanks Err - contacted Dell, but their line was "our promotions are constantly changing and we can't give you the promotion price even if you ordered hours before we lowered the price" or something like that. The price is still very good and I wasn't expecting a further discount, so I'm not too put off by them - although for $50 they could have a had a very happy customer...but they do have $50 more.
     
  9. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #9
    UPDATE

    The 3100cn finally arrived this evening. It's a beast - a 90lb box. The paper tray is a hefty as my HP2100 printer. After stacking the printer on the tray, putting in the color toner, and going through the other steps for set up, I installed the Dell drivers - very easy. I added the printer and was off.

    I printed a text sheet to test everything - wonderful. The black text was crisp and the email link was printed in blue. I shut down the printer and installed the 256 MB upgrade dimm for a total of 320 MBs. This was very easy - You simply open a side door (no tools needed) and the memory upgrade slot is right there.

    I went to iPhoto and selected a baby picture of my daughter and the options for photo and output favoring quality over speed. This was a step I was excited about given the CNET reviews noting that the color output was really good on photo tests. Fantastic - a nice print. Different from an inkjet in appearance b/c toners on regular paper - but the detail was really very good.

    I love the backlit LCD with all of the menus. It's very easy to see what is gong on - status, find out information like the IP address, change the networking protocol if you want, etc. The built in eithernet works wonderfully on my network (plugged into a four port netgear hub, which is plugged into an airport base station).

    Downsides - while it's quieter in general than my HP 2100 when it's not printing (dead silent whereas the HP fan was always going), when I send a print job the printer revs up to a healthy volume. Given that I spend more time not printing than printing - I think I prefer the Dell being dead silent to the HPs fan over the Dell's louder output to the HP's more modest printing noise, so the noise really has an upside and a downside to it.
     
  10. jwtseng macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    #10
    Phew! Thanks for the great review. I placed my order for this thing yesterday and was starting to have second thoughts. Now, I think I'll be happy. GOt the 3100cn for $299 and change including tax and shipping!
     
  11. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    The toner in my Samsung ML-1430 is about to run out, and I would really like a networked printer as well, so I am looking into spending the money on a new printer. I started out looking at b&w lasers (mostly the Brother 5250dn) but it seems rather cheaply made and only comes with a starter toner. The new color lasers have me interested, esp. the Dell 3100cn, even though I may never need color. It gets such great reviews, and the per page cost for b&w is about the same as my current laser. I know that model is discontinued now, but Dell has it refurbed for only $259 with free shipping, so it is hard to pass up. Just the toner is worth more than that! I think that I will call them to make sure it comes with the full toners like the website says, and then order it. Before I do, are there any other suggestions for a really good deal? I have also looked at the HP 2600n for $299 w/free shipping at Newegg, but it doesn't have Postscript and the per page cost is about double.
     
  12. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #12
    Well, I placed my order for the Dell 3100cn printer (refurb). It should be here next week. Now all I need to get is a printer stand sturdy enough to hold it!
     

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