Lexmark has a knack of producing well designed printers and multi-function devices at very reasonable prices, which are just right for their intended market in nearly all respects. Unfortunately, the missing link has always been print quality. So can the P6250, the company’s latest photo-quality all-in-one, break the mould and provide all you need for printing, copying and scanning for under £150?
First impressions are very positive. The cream and ice-blue case is about the same size as a typical desktop PC case and features a 67mm colour LCD display. This screen is used to display Lexmark’s well-organised menus and help control the all-in-one from the front panel. You navigate with a jog-dial and Select and Cancel buttons – all very straightforward and simple.
The screen can also be used to display thumbnails of images from memory cards – which you can plug into its seven-format card reader – or any PictBridge-enabled camera. While not as versatile as HP’s proof sheet, where you can select pictures for printing by checking boxes with a pencil, the P6250 can print you a thumbnail sheet and you can then select images by flicking through them on screen.
The flat-bed scanner is a contact-image device, so it’s suitable for scanning paper only, but it does a fair job at this, with a top optical resolution of 1,200 by 2,400ppi. A nice touch is the cool-blue, illuminated corner strip to the glass, showing you where to position your original for scanning.
Lift the top section of the P6250 up and a bonnet-strut support pops into place to hold it up. You can then get at the two ink cartridge carriers. These take a three-colour cartridge and either a three-colour photo or a solid black one - the latter is available in two yield levels. The colour and photo cartridges are supplied with the machine, but you have to buy the black one as an extra. Once locked into place, the machine aligns the two cartridges automatically, printing an alignment sheet as it does so.
Being a multifunction device, and a photo-orientated one at that, the P6250 comes with quite a bit of software. There's the All-in-One Centre, which offers easy access to a series of common tasks, such as transferring images to your PC from the card reader or scanner, sending images via email and, of course, viewing and printing them. The Image Centre is a fairly simple picture editor, offering mainstream functions such as colour, lightness and sharpness adjustments and sepia and black-and-white filters.