Lexmark C544DN review

An older model than many of the printers reviewed here, the compact Lexmark is starting to show its age in certain areas, although it’s not without its strengths. In particular, the basic paper handling capabilities reveal the C544DN’s age. There’s very little wrong with the well-built 250-sheet main tray. But at a time when we’ve become used to printers adding to that with a 100- or 150-sheet secondary tray, it’s a bit disappointing to see the Lexmark making do with a single-page manual feed. A 650-sheet unit can be bolted on, but a monthly duty cycle of 55,000 pages means the Lexmark is unlikely to be the answer for offices with demanding paper-handling requirements.

The C544DN’s small control panel is easy to navigate, and the printer comes with a handy USB port. MarkVision Professional software is bundled, which gives network managers extensive control over which users can do what on the printer.

The 128MB of memory is underwhelming, but can be boosted to 640MB. Ethernet connectivity is included, while Gigabit Ethernet can be added for £250, and wireless for £120. PCL and PostScript languages are supported, as are cross-platform networks.

The Lexmark is a capable text printer, and achieved 17.6ppm in our tests; 11.1ppm in duplexing mode. Against some tough modern competition, however, the ageing Lexmark finds itself closer to the rear of the pack for text quality. Characters aren’t as well formed as on some printers, and the lettering isn’t dark or sharp enough to really stand out.

The Lexmark offers slow print speeds for graphics, too – in our tests, it managed 6.1ppm. PDFs are also slow to print; our document required 21 seconds. The Lexmark lent many of our colour images a rather surreal quality. The colours are a touch too dark in places, and not realistic enough in others. The results are still eye-catching, but there are better models here for accurate photo reproduction.

OUR VERDICT

Replacing consumables is easier on this Lexmark than any other printer here, but the high running costs may curtail this initial joy. It’ll set you back 2.2p and 13.5p per mono and colour page respectively.

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