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The E352dn is a quick printer for its class and is rated at 33ppm. In tests it completed both our five-page text print and five-page text and graphics print in 16 seconds, giving a real life print speed of an impressive 19ppm. Even duplex printing couldn't hold it back, with a 20-side test print completing in one minute 22 seconds, or just under 15spm.
Text quality, as we've come to expect from Lexmark printers, is very good. It’s dense, but precise, so characters are well-formed and there’s no spatter discernible to the naked eye. Business graphics are also clean and sharp, though in our test print a shadow in the heading went missing and greyscale tones, representing coloured graphics, were rather coarse.
The specifications for the E352dn show a 1,200dpi print mode and another with ‘2,400dpi print quality’. Our photo image, printed in ‘best’ quality, should have been 2,400dpi, but looking at the printed output, the dot pattern is very obvious and doesn't appear to us to be anywhere near that resolution. There are also noticeable stripes across the picture, so the overall image quality is not good.
Lexmark publicity highlights a quiet mode for the printer, but even its own figures, showing 52dBA in normal mode and 48dBA when quiet, don't indicate much of an improvement. We certainly couldn't hear a lot of difference, though even in normal mode it's never noisy.
There are two components to the consumables cost in this machine: toner and the photoconductor drum. Surprisingly, the drum is the cheapest component, coming in at just £25 and rated at 30,000, five per cent pages. You can buy sufficient toner for 3,500 or 9,000 pages and using the higher capacity cartridge, which typically costs a touch under £100, produces a cost per page of 1.81p.
This is a reasonable page cost, but by no means the best we've seen recently from a mono laser, or even a colour one. Dell's Laser 3110cn, for example, prints a mono page for 1.42p and Epson's EPL-N2550 does so for 1.61p.
The E352dn is a high-end personal or small workgroup laser printer, ideal when most of the output will be text. It's not quite so good at line and block graphics and photos look decidedly dotty. It's reasonably inexpensive to run and prints more quickly than many other printers in its category. The built-in duplex facility is a useful extra and the printer is quiet and unobtrusive in use. A good partner in a busy office.
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