Cons:Cheap quality, expensive ink, ONLY works on Win2k/XP
The Bottom Line: For the price, get an HP or Lexmark instead.
This Dell 720 Printer came for free with the Dell Dimension PC I ordered a couple of months ago. I really didn't need another printer since I already have a superior HP model, but it came as part of a free promotion and there wasnt really an option not to get it. My intention was to keep my HP printer and give this Dell to my mom for her Windows 98 machine.
When I tried to hook this machine up to my mom's PC, it would not work. The computer would detect the printer connected via USB, but the drivers refused to load. It turned out that this printer only works on Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines. I dug around online for weeks trying to find a solution to this and many people suggested trying some similar Lexmark printer drivers. Nothing worked. The moral of the story is that you shouldn't buy this printer unless you plan to use it on a Win2000/XP machine or else it won't work.
Another thing to consider when buying this printer is that you have to buy the ink from Dell. I did a Google search for ink on this thing and most of what I could find was refill kits or a bunch of links to sites I've never heard of. I checked on Office Depot's website and couldn't find anything. This printer uses black and color ink cartridges. The black ones sell for $26.95 each or you can get a black and color one together for $53.00. Those are pretty much average prices as compared to what you would pay for similar HP carts, but I don't like the idea of only having one vendor to buy from.
Dell doesn't have these printers listed for sale on their site anymore, but I think they retailed for around $50-60. For the cost of ink replacement, you can see that this is basically a throwaway printer, like many of the cheaper ink jet printers on the market. For what it would cost to replace the ink once, you could just buy a new printer. Even worse, the included ink cartridges are 'trial versions' which don't even come at full capacity.
The printer itself is pretty cheap and lightweight and made of fairly delicate plastic. The paper trays and guides all seem a little flimsy and I wouldn't trust this printer to be moved around a lot. The output is actually very good and clean, but inkjet printers have been around so long now that even the cheapest ones still look good. Full color images on photo paper come out surprisingly crisp and I didn't notice any issues with misalignment of each line of printing.
This Dell 720 printer would be perfect for the casual user who occasionally prints off an email or document. It would also be good as a cheap but quality printer for a college student. Given the price of the ink and the limited durability of the printer itself, I would recommend you buy an HP or Lexmark for the same price just so you will have more options for buying replacement ink. Nothing sucks worse than when time is crucial and you can't just go buy more ink when you run out. As a student, I've been there.
One of these printers just sold on Ebay for $7.55 plus $15 shipping. Others are going for as much as $20 plus shipping. Technically, these printers aren't that bad, but printers like this are all over the place and you can find similar deals for cheaper prices. No wonder Dell gave them away.
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