This is the latest in a long line of Lexmark low-cost, all-in-one printers, combining colour printing, scanning and copying. It’s inexpensive price tag is reflected by a cheap, plasticky finish and ugly, old-fashioned design. To its advantage, it has a very simple control panel with one button for colour copying, one for mono copying, one to activate the scanning software on the computer and the rest for navigating its rudimentary menu system. It has a single line LCD display to view the menu.
It doesn’t have any memory-card slots as you would expect at this price point, but it does have a PictBridge port. This means you can attach similarly equipped devices and print direct from them.
Time to print a single page of A4 is 35 seconds and it managed a measly 2.3 pages per minute (ppm), which is incredibly slow. Print quality for plain text is terrible. The ink runs all over the page, meaning that the characters lack any clarity. There is also a lot of evidence of banding.
In draft mode the first page takes 17 seconds, and it achieved a more respectable 11ppm. The print quality in draft mode is much the same as in normal mode, so nothing to write home about, but at least it’s a lot faster.
Time to print a borderless A4 photo is 7 minutes 21 seconds. Not surprisingly and considering the results for text, the quality was unimpressive, with significant banding evident across the image. The printer’s ink droplets are also far more obvious than they should be. In the X3330’s defence, colour accuracy is quite good and this is without the photo-colour cartridge, which we were unable to test as one was not included with the printer (another identical model, the X3350 is available with this option instead of the black cartridge that comes with the X3330). It took 3 minutes 37 seconds to print a 6-x-4in photo, which is also extremely slow.
Scanning is done using Lexmark’s easy-to-use and intuitive Lexmark 3330 Series Centre software, which can also be used to control copying functions. The options within the scan driver are limited, but more than sufficient for the 3300’s target audience.
Time to scan an A4 document at 300dpi is 51 seconds. Scan quality isn’t much better than print quality. The colours look washed out, and there is lots of banding degrading scan output. The combination of poor print and scan quality also mean that the 3330 is unable to create good quality colour copies.
Overall, we assume that Lexmark justifies the quality of its products by pricing them so low, but this is a false economy, as you still have running costs to take into account and the performance of the X3330 would be unsatisfactory even for users on the tightest of budgets. Maybe it’s suited to a free bundled product with a PC, but it doesn’t really have any place in the Mac market.