Lexmark T640n review
An efficient, cheap-to-run and quiet networked laser printer that's ideal for medium-sized workgroups.
Review Date: 18 Nov 2005
Reviewed By: Dave Stevenson
Price when reviewed: (£707 inc VAT)
As far as workgroup printers go, you can't do better than our A-Listed HP 4350dtn, with its print speed of up to 68ppm, a built-in duplexer and heavy-duty build quality. However, the £1,200 price tag is difficult to swallow for smaller offices and workgroups. Enter the T640n, which offers slightly slower performance and fewer paper-handling features, but for nearly £700 less.
There's no duplexer as standard and the default paper tray handles 250 sheets rather than the HP's 1,100. There's a slightly flimsy feel to the multipurpose tray for envelopes too, but with a bit of care it should stand up to most environments.
We were impressed with the speed of the T640n. Our 5 per cent coverage mono document printed in one minute, 27 seconds, pleasingly near to Lexmark's claim of 35ppm. A complicated 12-page Excel document printed at a rate of 33ppm, and the T640n's 64MB of RAM and 400MHz processor helped the unit through our 24-page DTP test at 36ppm. Our tricky four-page PDF slowed performance down to 24ppm, but it's still respectable for a machine that's intended to serve around a dozen users.
Text quality was predictably good, but we were even more impressed with the dithering control. Darker greys were printed as solid blocks, and while lighter patches occasionally suffered from obvious dithering, it didn't distract from darker text printed on top. Even images, normally a serious stumbling block for mono lasers, printed well. A good range of greyscales was helped by a banding-free print engine. Our only complaint is the amount of toner on the page, giving a noticeable texture to some of our darker images.
The T640n does have a few tricks up its sleeve. The USB port on the front is compatible with flash drives, and can read and print most PDF, JPEG or TIFF files it finds on them. There's no preview screen, but it's a handy feature.
The network features on the T640n aren't the most powerful we've seen, but for smaller roll-outs it will do the job. You can install the printer software on remote systems, which saves distributing discs or having to make a tour of all the systems in a workgroup. We had the T640n connected to the network and printing in less than five minutes.
Admittedly, the T640n won't win any beauty pageants, but in use it isn't obtrusively loud, and doesn't produce a noticeable amount of ozone, making it a good choice for desktop use. The toner and image drum are in the same unit, making replacing the two most-frequently changed consumables straightforward. A 21,000-page toner costs a hefty £206, but works out at just 0.98p per page (a smaller, 6,000-page toner costs £82, and works out at 1.37p per page).
The T640n is a good printer at a good price, and we're happy to recommend it for small and medium-sized workgroups. However, larger groups should be looking at the likes of the HP 4350dtn, which is much faster and delivers significantly better paper handling.
Author: Dave Stevenson
- Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet sales halted over faulty charger
- Microsoft slashes custom XP support price
- Amazon Phone: does anyone want a 3D handset?
- Virgin email fiasco hits thousands of users
- Chrome Remote Desktop now available on Android
- Google posts "average quarter" with slow growth
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- BBC iPlayer lets Android devices download shows
- Google's Project Ara modular phone arrives in January
- Hackers harvest LaCie card data for a full year
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- Cut out the broadband jargon? What jargon?
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs