We cover both of these printers in the same write-up because they're identical - except that the wireless model includes a plug-in wireless module that provides both RJ-45 and 802.11 b/g wireless networking functionality. It also includes a built-in 33.6 kbps fax modem (faster than the 14.8 kbps fax modems included with many other MFC printers). Page rates are a lot better than average at 32/23 for printing black/color; color copy is the same as color printing for both models, and both handle faxes at 10 ppm. The wireless model normally retails for around $300 but is available for $250 as we write this story; likewise, the plain-vanilla 966 normally goes for $250 but is available for $200.
As such units go, the Dell 966 models are big, with decent-sized paper trays to match (a second 150-page tray is available for $69 from Dell).
With a 50-page capacity, the ADF for the 966 is more capacious than other models we cover in this guide. It functions well for all of its primary functions - faxing, printing and copying - and also does a good job with photo printing (though once again, a 4" x 6" photo paper tray is not available for this unit). A second paper tray is available, though, and can be loaded with photo paper if desired. Likewise, an optional duplexer is available for $79 for making double-sided prints or copies automatically.
The 966 also includes a 2.4" color LCD for photo preview and for viewing menu options and command inputs. The four media slots on the 966 can handle all the most-common memory card formats used for photos (Compact Flash, Memory Stick Pro, SD and xD-Picture card). The PictBridge connector is easily accessible on the front of the unit, and also works with a compatible Bluetooth plug-in that can interact with properly-equipped cameras.
High-capacity ink cartridges are available for the 966 ($26 for black, $32 for color) as well as standard-capacity cartridges ($21 for black, $24 for color). Printing photos requires replacing the color cartridge with a photo cartridge (you can add light cyan and light magenta for $26 to bring the total ink count up to six) for best results. Photo handling on this MFC is acceptable but not as good as the best units in this Buyer's Guide (Canon, Epson and HP are all visibly better).
The plain-vanilla 966 can be upgraded to wireless capability with a $90 add-in module post purchase, but if you know you want network support, it's cheaper to buy the wireless model from the get-go. More information is available on the Dell Website for both the 966 and the
- Consumer Printers Keep On Marching
- Consumables Continue To Count
- Brother MFC-440CN Inkjet All-in-One Printer
- Brother DCP-130c Color Inkjet All-in-One
- Brother MFC-665CW Photo Color All-in-One With Wireless Networking
- Dell All-in-One Printer 946
- Dell Photo All-in-One Printer 966 And Wireless 966
- Canon Pixma MP510
- Canon Pixma MP830
- Canon Pixma MP180
- Epson Stylus Photo RX620
- Epson Stylus CX7000F All-in-One Inkjet Printer
- Epson Stylus CX3810
- HP OfficeJet 5610
- HP OfficeJet 7210
- Lexmark X7350 All-in-One Printer
- Lexmark X9350 Wireless Office All-in-One