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Marine Goy
Morgane Alzieu
Published on May 11, 2011
Translated by Jack Sims
This is an archive page, the content is no longer up to date.


  • Resolution 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Mono/colour speeds 8.5 ppm / 10 ppm
  • Ink droplet size NA
  • Cartridges required 4
  • Number of base colours 4
  • Scanner no
This printer is a little different to the general consumer models we usually review here: the 5130cdn is a monofunction colour laser designed to print up to 110,000 pages a month. Dell is promising "breathtaking performance" and "astounding quality". The standard 256 MB memory gives excellent capacity and can be extended up to 1280 MB: this laser printer is based on the idea that it can adapt to changing needs and you can also add accessories such as paper loaders (from 550 to 1100 pages), memory and even a 80 GB hard drive.


When we received the 5130cdn box here at editorial, we were astonished to see how big it was. This was partly down to the fact that a pallet had been used at the bottom of the box to facilitate the transport of what is a particularly heavy machine (45 kg). It is very robust looking and in the form of a cube (56 x 51 x 43 cm), something of a backwoodsman in the world of printers. There are no curved lines here, no black, glossy hood. Dell has made it as functional as possible.

The letters in the name tell you about the printer's capacities. 5130CDN: C for Colour, D for Duplex (double-sided) and N for Network. In the standard version, 150 printed pages can be collected at the front and the paper loader has a capacity of 550 pages.

The standard version opened

It supports PS3 and PCL and is Windows, Mac and Linux compatible.

There's a black and white screen with directional arrows and a validation button on the front. The buttons below the arrows give you access to the help and menu as well as allowing you to cancel your print command.

The front

You can also add additional paper capacity in 550 page steps (to a maximum of 1100 additional pages).

Speed: a real beast

The tech spec claims 45 pages per minute (ppm) for black & white and colour. With our test documents, we scored it at 46 ppm. Count 35 ppm for double-sided. This is the fastest model we've tested, faster even than the Brother HL-4570CDW which manages 30 ppm.

 46 pages per minute

: excellent

The results are excellent on our office documents. Though complex to render with all its shaded areas, the graph is perfectly legible and the colours are very accurate.

The fussiest among you will note that the 0s in the caption are slightly blurred but overall the result is very good.

Energy consumption & noise levels

This printer consumes 5 Watts on standby and 600 Watts when printing. Although this may seem high in comparison with inkjets (on average they score 2 Watts in standby and 20 Watts when printing), it isn't however too bad and printer manufacturers are working to bring these scores down. For comparison the Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN draws 6 Watts in standby and 480 Watts when printing. It is however possible to do better (the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn consumes 1.2 Watts in standby and 290 Watts when printing).

At an average of 58.5 dB (A) according to our readings, the Dell 5130cdn is a noisy printer.


Cost per page: 5.6 pence

Standard cartridges are supplied with the machine and these give half the capacity of the XLs. Our price table is based on the high capacity cartridges, which, while requiring more initial outlay (£695), give a much better cost per page. Overall the cost per page is very good: 5.6 pence. The advantage of separate cartridges is that you only have to replace the colour that has been used up. For cost per page comparison, we refer you to the Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN, which is at 11.1 pence and the Brother HL-4570CDW at 7.7 pence.

ISO lifespan for text
High capacity cartridges
Cartridge Price ISO lifespan Cost per page
593-10925 (black) £136.80 18000 0.8 pence
593-10922 (cyan) £186 12000 1.6 pence
593-10923 (magenta) £186 12000 1.6 pence
593-10924 (yellow) £186 12000 1.6 pence


The 1st page takes 23 seconds
You won't waste any time with this model. Print times are rapid in all modes (from off position, standby and when already on).


  • Colour, double-sided, network, extendable capacity
  • Turns on fast, rapid prints
  • Excellent quality
  • Cost per page: 5.6 pence
  • Linux/Mac/Windows drivers


  • No wi-fi
  • Noisy
  • Too large for single user


The Dell 5130CDN prints rapidly and well and the fact that paper capacity can be extended means it can be adapted to changing needs. This is an excellent model for the business environment. A solid, high performance machine.
4 Dell 5130cdn DigitalVersus 2011-05-11 00:00:00
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