It seems like November is the month for announcing new printer line ups and Dell has put in their bid with a new roster of lasers and multi-function printers. However this isn't just a new line up of dumb printers these are the first in a complete new range of smart platform devices.

Speaking exclusively to TechRadar Dave McNally Product Marketing Director for Imaging explained the new strategy for Dell. "We see the printer as the digital on and off ramp. They are no longer the box that sits in the corner printing out pages, instead - starting with this launch - our printers will be solutions led with built-in and bundled applications to improve productivity. "

The new B3465dnf MFP printer from Dell
The new B3465dnf MFP printer from Dell

As an example of the new productivity apps, Dell demoed a video showing a wedding planner, arriving at a customer meeting and using the hotel Dell MFP to print off dress designs stored on the cloud using her iPad. The planner then adds annotations to the document with her clients, before scanning the annotated document back on the hotel MFP and emailing the new updates from the MFPs control panel to the chef and the dress designer.

Printers with added productivity software and apps

To enable this additional productivity Dell are adding two new sets of productivity software; desktop productivity software and productivity apps embedded into the printers.

All of the new entry-level devices will be bundled with Nuance Paper Port Standard 14 document management software, and the higher-end devices will come with a copy of PaperPort Professional 14 with PaperPort Anywhere cloud storage.

The higher-end devices will also feature built-in applications including; Multi Send to allow users to route scanned documents to email, FTP, workgroup users and network folders, Scan to Network to send scans directly to folders on the web, Forms and Favourites which allows users to quickly access and print frequently used forms and documents on the network, or via FTP or in the cloud.

Additionally users will also be able to download and run solutions from a Dell printer app store with the first applications aimed at the healthcare, schools, law and retail sectors. The apps will be initially embedded on the device but McNally says in future "app development will look to utilise the cloud."

New 'advanced-class' products

Dell are also launching for the first time in the European market their 'advanced class' products. As McNally explains the first device is a 60 page per minute MFP device, "with functionality that you would have found previously only on high-end copying machine. Including a really-robust sheet feeder, rated at the same speed as the printer, with a multi-feed paper detection to prevent miss-scans. Additionally the printer will have five embedded solutions to improve productivity."

The new range includes three new multifunction printers – the C1765nf/nfw, B3465dnf and B5465dnf – and five single function colour and monochrome printers – the C1660w, C1760nw, B2360d/dn, B3460dn and B5460dn.

The WiFi-ready C1660w and C1760nw, entry-class colour printers are aimed at small/home offices and remote workers and have fast print cycles and low maintenance, while the B2360d/dn, B3460dn and B5460dn monochrome printers are engineered to provide medium-sized businesses and larger workgroups with fast performance, easy-to-implement security, and robust paper handling.

Low cost of ownership is also central to the new printers as McNally explains "the new devices have a two-part supplies architecture; the imaging drum is now separate from the toner cartridges and there's a 'shake-free' toner that make sure copies are crisp and vibrant to the end. Additionally the toner has a low melting point and has an instant hibernate and wake up mode to reduce energy use."

Improving Wireless connectivity

Additionally Dell has improved the wireless setup procedures on the new printers and has included the Dell Printer Easy WiFi Installer, which claims to allow a printer to be set up with up to 4 x fewer clicks than their old devices.

The new wireless printer devices will all be accessible via the Dell Android app, which allows Android users to print from their smartphone or tablet – and an IOS version of the app will be available in January 2013.

Prices will start from £139 + VAT for the entry-level C1660w colour laser rising to £619 for the B5460dn. The multifunction printers start at £239 for the C1765nf with the top of the range B5465dnf coming in at £1,699. All are available now apart from the B5465dnf which is available in January 2013.