Dell Colour Cloud Multifunction H825cdw review
A cloud-clever laser multifunction printer that’s packed with features and cheap to buy and run
Dell's H825cdw colour multifunction printer (MFP) is designed to take the pain out of network printing, scanning and copying, meaning it should appeal to small offices with limited IT expertise.
Moreover, its integration with Dell's Document Hub makes it cloud-friendly and it supports wired or wireless operation, plus AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC connections.
It gives the Document Hub service a needed shot in the arm as, for more than a year, the only Dell printer that had this embedded was the ageing C2665dnf. The new H-Series of MFPs increases the count to four, which allows you to access the service directly from their touchscreens and scan to, or print, from authorised cloud accounts.
We logged in to the Document Hub administrative web portal and enabled access to our Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote accounts. You can also access Box, OneDrive, Salesforce and SharePoint Online.
After selecting the Document Hub option from the printer's touchscreen, we provided our credentials and could then view our cloud accounts and scan documents directly to them, or view what they already stored, and select remote files to print. Accounts for other users are created from the same portal, at which point they're sent an activation email.
Once registered, users can authorise their own cloud services and access them from the printer. Along with options for scanning to email and creating searchable PDFs, they can import business cards to their account email address using optical character recognition (OCR) for saving directly to a contact list.
Installing the Windows driver is fully automated and the Printer Hub app is also loaded, which provides network access to the printer for scanning to the PC or viewing consumables, editing its address book and running the Toolbox diagnostics application. Logging in to our Document Hub account also gave us direct access to the cloud services.
You can create predefined actions using the Printer Hub, which makes local or cloud scanning a two-click operation. You can also search all your cloud storage accounts for files, load them onto a PC and print them.
Dell's Document Hub iOS app worked fine on our iPad, where we used it to print files or web pages and pull in scanned documents. We also tested using a Microsoft Lumia 640, and the PrintJinni Windows Phone app worked well with the H825cdw over a wireless connection.
Print speeds are as quoted, with a 28-page Word document delivered in 60 seconds, which was repeated for our demanding 24-page colour DTP test print. The time to first page was never more than ten seconds and duplexing the 28-page test print returned a reasonable 19ppm.
Copy speeds using the scanner's automatic document feeder (ADF) were reasonable, with a ten-page single-sided copy returning 12.5ppm. A ten-page duplex-to-duplex copy slowed to 4.5ppm but, impressively, both sides are scanned in a single pass.
Print quality will satisfy most business users, with pin-sharp fonts and mono photos exhibiting high levels of detail, with minimal banding. Colour output was equally impressive: photos and reports looked sharp and punchy, with only minor banding spoiling their overall impact.
We'd avoid Dell's standard toner cartridges because they push running costs through the roof. Instead, we'd opt for the extra high-yield versions as these will deliver a mono page for 1.4p and colour for 8.7p.
The H825cdw is versatile and quality is very good. Email and fax operations are sped up with the printer's internal address books and Dell's ColorTrack feature can be used to restrict colour printing.
It offers all the printing features a small business will need at an affordable price, scoring well for performance and running costs, while the embedded Document Hub makes light work of cloud printing and scanning.
This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 259.
600dpi A4 colourlaser
600dpi colour scanner
2 x USB 2
2 x RJ11
250-page input tray
Recommended monthly duty cycle, 700-3,500pages
429 x 504 x 500mm(WDH)
1yr basic NBD warranty
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