Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro5500 review

Inkjet printers have traditionally been low-cost devices aimed at home users, but they’re increasingly moving into the business arena and providing the kind of performance and quality normally associated with laser printers. And, as the name implies, Lexmark’s new OfficeEdge Pro5500 is a real workhorse multifunction printer that is very much aimed at office workgroups.

It’s a bit of a beast, weighing in at 16Kg, and measuring almost 50cm wide, 28cm high and 41cm deep, so you’ll need to devote a sturdy table to the printer when setting it up. Lexmark claims that the 4800x3600dpi print resolution of the Pro5500 can produce ‘laser-like’ documents at speeds of 21 pages per minute for black text and 14ppm for colour. Our test results were more modest – 12ppm for text and 10ppm for colour, but that still puts the Pro5500 in the same league as low-end laser printers such as the HP LaserJet Pro 300.

Print quality is impressive, with smooth, sharp text that genuinely rivals that of a laser printer. Graphics and photo output are good too, so the Pro5500 will be a good option for producing presentations and marketing materials.

Admittedly, the Pro5500 is about £100 more expensive than the HP LaserJet, but it’s a lot more versatile. Unlike the LaserJet, the Pro5500 is a multifunction device that also provides scanning, copying and fax functions. It has both Ethernet and wireless networking, duplex printing, 50-sheet document feeder, and a 300-sheet paper tray with the option of adding a second tray that holds an additional 550 sheets.

And, most importantly, printing costs are also quite competitive. Lexmark’s high-yield black ink cartridges cost £31.80 with a yield of 2500 pages, which works out at very competitive 1.27p per page. A three-pack containing three colour cartridges costs £81.52 with a yield of 1600 pages, which brings the total cost of colour printing to 6.37p per page, which is also pretty reasonable – especially compared to a laser printer.

OUR VERDICT

We might have expected a printer in this price range to be a little faster (the US price is considerably lower, even taking VAT into account). Even so, the OfficeEdge Pro5500 is a sturdy and versatile multifunction printer that will particularly appeal to workgroups who need to produce a wide range of different documents each month.

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