capsule review

Dell All-in-One Photo Printer 922

At a Glance
  • Dell 922 All-In-One Photo Printer

Dell All-in-One Photo Printer 922
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Dell's All-in-One 922 uses the same engine, drivers, and case as the Lexmark X5270, and not surprisingly the two models performed almost identically in our tests. Recently Dell dropped the price on 922 from $119 to $79.

Though the Dell printed graphics at a slightly below-average 1.0 ppm, it issued text quickly at a rate of 7.7 ppm. Among the inkjet MFPs we tested this month, the 922 turned in the fastest scan time on a 4-by-5-inch photo at 100 dpi--just 15 seconds (the average was 22 seconds).

The 922 printed text that looked dark though slightly jagged, yet was still legible down to very small sizes. Line art looked fairly crisp, though narrow parallel lines printed too thick and overlapped a lot. Color graphics on plain paper looked faded and too orange, though blues appeared realistic. On glossy paper, photos still appeared too orange, but other colors seemed more realistic, and they retained detail well. Copies of a text document were fairly sharp and earned a score of Good, as did the copies of most other inkjet MFPs we tested; copies of plain-paper graphics, which we didn't formally score, looked faded.

The case is small and sleek, but the lid to the flatbed scanner feels flimsy and light. The console offerings are bare-bones; for example, it lacks an LCD panel where you can set the number of copies, change the copy quality settings, and so on. Next to the flatbed scanner, however, there are buttons for initiating scans and making copies. Dell includes Lexmark's well-designed All-in-One Center, a driver that allows you to make copies; send a fax from your PC; and scan to a specific application, file, e-mail, or fax. Based on your selection, the software sets the resolution: You indicate whether you are scanning a photo, text, or magazine page, and then tell it whether the scan will be printed, faxed, or viewed on screen. You can also use the accompanying software to edit your images or scan text to the included optical character recognition application, Abbyy Fine Reader 5. Also, a print status box shows how much ink is left in the cartridges every time you print.

This inexpensive MFP will fit well in a home or dorm room where fast and easy operation is important and image quality is secondary.

Lisa Cekan

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At a Glance
  • Dell 922 All-In-One Photo Printer

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