Lexmark X544dw review
A strong multifunction printer that does everything well, although running costs are high
Review Date: 18 Feb 2012
Reviewed By: Ian Marks
Price when reviewed: £535 (£642 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
If you work in a school where aesthetics are important, then the Lexmark X544 is probably not for you. Big, heavy, and with all the appeal of a 1980s photocopier, it's a pretty ugly unit. However, if you want a multifunction device that will do just about everything you throw at it efficiently, then you may have found your match.
The X544 is a multifunction device, with printing, copying and scanning capabilities. This version -the X544dw - has 802.11bgn Wi-Fi functionality as well as 10/100 Ethernet connectivity. lt also has built-in 802.11n, so it isn't as sensitive to range as some other printers, although we encountered some difficulties getting the scanning function to work.
The X544dw has a 250-sheet paper tray, plus an additional 50-sheet tray that can take transparencies, card stock and other media.
Print speeds are good in both black-and-white and colour, and this is one printer that could easily exceed 20
pages per minute- close to the stated 23ppm specification. New toner cartridges come in both regular 1,000-page and high-yield 2,000-page variants (or 2,500 page for black), putting print costs at 2.8p for mono and 16p for colour- not the cheapest here.
Print quality is excellent when printing mono text or charts and graphics, but photo reproduction isn't brilliant. Test photos came out looking grainy, with some banding. Pupils were also disappointed by the results of scanning in photos and printing. lt isn't that the X544dw is the worst photo printer in this test, but it comes nowhere near the excellent quality of the HP.
For general classroom use this isn't an ideal printer; its footprint is too big, and the numerous plastic feed trays on the top made us worry that it would get broken or knocked. As a central printer, however, it could be a good choice, particularly since its wireless connectivity means you can place it almost wherever you want.
Author: Ian Marks
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