Lexmark X5470

The X5470 is designed for the international market. But instead of localising each unit for every country, the box includes a very impressive pile of mains leads, phone adaptors and multi-language clip-on front panels. This is reassuring if you’re planning an imminent move to Czechoslovakia or Switzerland, but seems wasteful otherwise.

First impressions are that it has been built down to a price – thin metal and plastic aren’t entirely robust. Internally this is a two-cartridge printer. Plain paper colour copying is reasonably fast, although the deep red on our copy test sheet turned into a bright orange. Photo-quality copying is very slow indeed – an A4 sheet took more than three minutes – and while the results were good, the glossy black ink on Lexmark’s own photo paper takes around ten to fifteen minutes to dry. Until it does, copies remain dangerously sticky and handling certainly isn’t recommended. Colour photo prints suffer from the same problem. Lexmark has introduced new inks that are water resistant – we can only presume that this ‘miracle ink’ is causing the drying delays.

While SD, MMC, xD, MS, CF and PictBridge are all available on the panel and it’s possible to print from them directly, the two-line text LCD makes this less than simple. There are no editing or preview features at all. Software setup was also hit-and-miss. The remote setup routine couldn’t find the printer after installation. This didn’t affect printing or scanning, but it’s something that shouldn’t happen in a commercial product. Scanning quality is acceptable, and the scanning drivers include all of the usual sharpening, resolution, colour and other control features. ABBYY Fine Reader is included to provide OCR, but it wouldn’t access the scanner directly, and had to read scanned files instead for some reason.

OUR VERDICT

In spite of the flaws, the X5470 is a reasonable budget choice for a small office that needs occasional photo prints and copies. The one-year warranty includes a handy next-day replacement. It’s not recommended for more serious photography or heavy use. But for occasional scanning and printing of documents, with faxing, it’s good value.

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