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Dell 720 Photo Printer Review – Cheap But Disappointing


The Dell 720 photo printer is designed for producing professional materials such as brochures and flyers, while also doing a capable job of printing documents. Unfortunately, Dell hasn’t quite managed to measure up against the standards set by some of their competitors when it comes to this class of machine. Let’s look at the relative benefits and drawbacks of owning a Dell 720.

Top Features of the Dell 720

There are a few things to recommend this printer, the most obvious of which is the price tag. This machine sells new for just $50, a price that you’re highly unlikely to find beaten by any other manufacturer.

In terms of its specifications, the 720 also has a few impressive features. The maximum picture resolution it’s capable of is not bad at 4,800 by 1,200 dots per inch. It also comes with fairly user-friendly software such as Dell Picture Studio, so you don’t need a lot of prior knowledge of image editing to get your pictures right before printing.

Downsides of the Dell 720 Printer

As you might expect in light of the price tag, there are quite a few flaws that make this machine inferior to many of its competitors. One of those is its speed. It’s capable of a mere 13 pages per minute for black-and-white documents and only 8 pages per minute in color. That’s definitely going to slow down productivity in a professional environment where the printer is getting regular use. Note also that these are maximum speeds, so in practice the machine may actually be a lot slower than this on particular projects.

The 720 is also extremely limited in terms of its compatibility. It was originally designed only to be compatible with Windows 2000 and XP, so if you have a Mac, forget about it. If you’re running Windows Vista or 7 you may be able to download drivers that will allow you to operate the machine, but don’t count on it. Unless you’re running 2000 or XP (and aren’t planning on changing that any time soon), look elsewhere.

Consumer Response to the Dell 720 Photo Printer

There has been a torrent of negative feedback from purchasers of this machine. Not only are the downsides mentioned above a cause for irritation, but the machine seems to be quite prone to malfunctioning in various ways. Paper jams and feeding problems are very common. The printer has a tendency to not use a particular color of ink even if the ink cartridge isn’t empty, resulting in ruined prints. And even when it does work as it should, the print quality is fairly low – nothing you’d be proud to attach your professional name to.

In short, this is a very basic printer that will suffice in the short term if you’re on a very tight budget, but don’t look at it as a long term investment. There’s a reason you can buy this machine second-hand for $20 or less. Consider yourself warned.

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