The Dell B3460dn is a mono laser printer that won't win the beauty pageant. But it is well worth considering if you need a dependable workhorse in a busy office that prizes speed and volume more than a glossy appearance. 

Designed to be sturdy and reliable, and styled in discreet non-reflective black, the B3460dn measures a squat 399 x 382 x 306 mm and weighs in at a comfortable 15.7 kg.

A healthy sized 550-sheet input tray lives in the base and this can be further expanded with an additional three trays (costing £115.20 each) to provide a whopping 2200-sheet capacity. 

As if this wasn't enough, there's also a drop-down 100-sheet multipurpose tray at the front and the machine comes with auto duplex as standard so you can make the most of every page.

Connection options are ehernet and USB 2.0. There's no wireless connectivity built-in, but an external wireless adaptor is available.

Dell B3460dn

The control panel is extremely easy to operate, with large well-labelled buttons, a full number pad and a well-lit 2.4-inch colour LCD display.

To the right of the keypad is a USB port for flash drives enabling easy and rapid printing without hooking up to a network.

We say rapid, as the B3460dn is a veritable racehorse. Claimed speeds are frequently over-inflated but we found text and graphic documents zoomed out at around 44ppm which was actually close to Dell's advertised 47ppm.

Text quality was satisfyingly solid without being exceptional and would be more than acceptable for churning out extended documents and reports. The only noticeable dip in quality was in photo images which were generally much darker and grainier than the originals.

The other major selling point for this printer is the potentially low ink cost. On Dell's use-and-return scheme, the basic 2500-page standard black cartridge works out at an unimpressive 3.12p per page.

However, if you pay for the 8500-page high-capacity cartridge this almost halves to 1.62p per page. The massive extra-high-capacity 20,000-page version will set you back a competitive 1.14p per page.

OUR VERDICT

The combination of large volume printing at fast speeds for very low ink prices make the Dell B3460dn an obvious consideration for small to medium businesses.