There's very little to dislike about this all-in-one device. It's easy to set up and maintain, prints at a high quality even at middling settings and makes it easy to scan to, or print from, cloud storage services directly. Only a buggy Windows app and temperamental NFC capability stop it earning the full five stars.
User-friendly design, simple to get running, clean and colourful prints, decent operation speeds
Dedicated Windows app doesn't work, NFC support is hit and miss
From £383 (as tested)
Function: Print, copy, scan, fax
Maximum resolution: 600dpi
Paper capacity: 250 sheets (printer only), 50 sheets (multipurpose)
Display: 4.3in capacitive touchscreen
Processor speed: 525MHz
Connectivity: USB 2.0, USB-B 2.0, Ethernet, phone connector, wall socket connector
Printing area: 208mmx348mm
Scanning area: 216mmx297 mm (flatbed), 216 mm x 356 mm (duplexing automatic document feeder)
We were present when Dell first revealed its newest range of SMB-focused multifunction printers (MFPs) and, while we'd still struggle to tell the H825cdw apart from its stablemates, including the cheaper H625cdw, its long list of added features is hard to ignore.
Stuffed with cloud connectivity options, mechanical enhancements and reworked software, the H825cdw sounded like a solid replacement for its predecessor, the Dell C2665dnf. Now that we've properly tested it, we're pleased to say that it lives up to that promise.
Dell Printer Easy Installer is among the most aptly named set-up software we've ever used; it installs a Dell printer onto a PC, and is simple to use. In fact, it takes only a couple of clicks to do its job, installing the appropriate drivers and the like in a largely automated way. This does take a few minutes, though.
Physically configuring the printer isn't much trickier. Inputting passwords on the tiny 4.3in touchscreen to connect to a WiFi network and sign into the new Dell Document Hub is slightly fiddly, but otherwise it arrives more or less ready to go. With our laptop already hooked up, we simply needed to add paper and we were away.
Dell has said that the H series of MFPs is designed for small firms without dedicated IT managers or techie staff, and it shows in the H825cdw's pleasantly painless set-up process.
The H825cdw is almost indistinguishable from the other H series and S series MFPs it was announced alongside, but that's no bad thing. It's built from thick, tough plastics and includes all the ports you'd reasonably need for a printer/scanner/copier/fax combo, including Ethernet, USB-B and a front-mounted USB 2.0 for printing straight from a thumb drive. As mentioned, it also supports WiFi and WiFi Direct, including the WPA and WPS protocols, which should prove useful for anyone whose office isn't awash with access points.
It leaves a fairly modest footprint at 429x504x500mm, shaving a few centimetres in every direction off the C2665dnf it replaces. The H825cdw also weighs slightly less at 31.7kg, although that's still far too heavy for it to be frequently shifted around. No doubt inclusions like the duplexing automatic document feeder, which enables double-sided scanning, add to the weight.
As for paper capacity, we have no problem with the standard 250-sheet tray, although an optional secondary tray that fits 550 sheets can be added as well. If any of that paper gets jammed, the H825cdw has a nifty mechanism for removing it. Opening an access panel on the rear of the machine simultaneously loosens the paper rollers, making it easier to pull out obstructions.
This feature is new to the current H series, as are Dell's third-generation toner cartridges. Based on a smaller cylindrical design, albeit one that squeezes in more densely packed toner, they're a cinch to remove and replace, simply sliding in and out from an easy-to-access panel on the front of the machine.
This simplicity extends to the main control panel, which comprises a number pad, a range of dedicated buttons for key actions and a small NFC pad, as well as the main touchscreen display. The H825cdw has a basic but user-friendly tile-based menu system, controlled entirely by tapping and swiping.