Multifunction Printers Under $150

Dell AIO 926

Like all inkjet models from Dell, the AIO 926 is based on printing technology developed by Lexmark, with the limitations that this entails in terms of speed and quality. There are no separate ink tanks, which means you have to use single cartridges that are more expensive and less cost-efficient. In addition, Dell doesn't really stand out in the area of price, which is usually one of their advantages.

Ergonomics And Design

Aside from its fairly innovative white color, the Dell AIO 926's looks are pretty restrained. The indispensable basics are there: a 2.5" tiltable LCD display, memory card slots, and PictBridge support. The function buttons, however, are limited to four directional arrows and an Enter button; this is a far cry from the well-equipped control panels you find with HP products, for example. For beginning users, the limited number of possibilities is a good thing, though; the LCD display is big and high in quality, and navigating through the menus is simple. The software side is a little less convincing, even if the Dell All-In-One Center software is a cut above what this maker has offered in the past.

Print Quality

There were no surprises as far as the output was concerned, since we know what to expect from Lexmark's inks. As usual, the printing head uses two distinct cartridges: one for the three basic colors, and a second for black. The black cartridge can be replaced by another one containing light cyan, light magenta, and black for better results in photo mode. With that configuration, output was of acceptable quality where the colors were concerned, but dottiness was often visible, especially in sky backgrounds and sea landscapes. As for monochrome, it was rather disappointing, with a strong tendency to bluishness.

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