Lexmark C540n review
Fast, top-quality prints, good running costs and a competitive price make the Lexmark our new favourite colour laser printer
The C540n is the best printer for small workgroups we've seen. Not only is the cost of the unit bearable at less than £200 before VAT, but it’s also network capable, quick, and offers excellent quality.
Workgroup features run throughout the printer. The paper tray, for instance, has the joint highest capacity on test at 250 pages, and the single-pass engine means sheets need to run through its cavernous interior only once, no matter whether they’re printed in full colour or black and white. It’s a major part of the reason we’re recommending it.
The Lexmark hovered at a steady 20ppm in all our tests. The only time we saw a significantly slower speed was with our 24-page DTP document, whose complexities resulted in a 5ppm drop in speed. Still, at 15ppm for this demanding document, the Lexmark remains a very fast machine for the money.
It also produced decent quality. Text looked elegant, and it was superb when printing business documents. Colours appeared as they should and text on a coloured background – always tricky for cheap laser printers – looked great.
With all that power, it doesn’t come as a shock that the Lexmark is a on the expensive side to run initially. But after a few thousand pages those costs will remain lower than cheaper printers. These costs will be higher, incidentally, if you intend to print on the C540n from an Apple computer – Lexmark’s driver currently doesn’t support monochrome-only printing.
But that problem aside, the Lexmark is incredibly fast and produces great quality prints. It’s also network-ready, well built and reasonably thrifty. The huge 250-page paper tray means you can set it up and leave it, and the initial pain of buying it is less than with more expensive printers. The Lexmark is our well-deserved Recommended award.
|Price ex VAT||£180|
|Price inc VAT||£207|
|Features & Design||6|
|Value for Money||5|
Printer language & OS Support
|Resolution printer final||1200 x 1200dpi|
|Rated/quoted print speed||21PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Monthly duty cycle||35,000 pages|
|Standard mono toner life||1,000 pages|
|High-yield mono toner life||2,500 pages|
|Standard colour toner life||1,000|
|High-yield colour toner life||2,000 pages|
|Supplied mono toner life||2,500 pages|
|Supplied colour toner life||2,000|
Power and noise
|Peak noise level||47.0dB(A)|
|Dimensions||424 x 400 x 292mm (WDH)|
|Mono print speed (measured)||20ppm|
|Colour print speed||20ppm|
|Input tray capacity||251 sheets|
|Output tray capacity||100 sheets|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Other operating system support||Novell Netware, Novell Open Enterprise Server, Sun Solaris SPARC, Sun Solaris x86, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Linux (various)|