Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

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Mono laser printers are still the stalwarts of business and enterprise and in these, shared, workgroup environments there are three key requirements: high speed, low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and good expandability. The economically-named E650dn claims to do well in all three areas.

As you might expect for a workgroup laser printer, the T650dn is a large machine. It's made larger by its duplexer, which rather than being an internal device, sticks out the back, a bit like a coal bunker on the back of a council tenement. It adds an extra 150mm to the depth of the machine and, as the printer itself sits on top of it, raises it by 55mm, too.

The front panel includes a backlit LCD display, buttons to navigate its menus and a number pad that can be used in collaboration with the printer's internal memory to hold jobs and release them only when an operator enters a pin or password at the printer. There's also a front panel USB socket for secure, walk-up printing. These two facilities are becoming increasingly important in many businesses and it's good to see them both here.

The default paper tray built into the printer takes just 350 sheets of paper. Given the T650dn has a duty cycle of a whopping 200,000 and a typical monthly usage of between 5,000 and 20,000 pages, a default paper capacity this low is a mistake. If we were cynical, we'd think the trend to smaller capacity paper trays is purely a ploy to encourage the purchase of optional extras.

There are plenty of these for the Lexmark machine, with 550-sheet trays, 1,000-sheet bins, stackers, envelope-feeders, staplers and other goodies, so you can convert the printer into a complete document producer.

At the back of the printer are sockets for USB and Ethernet, both of which are standard, and other interfaces, such as wireless networking and parallel, are available as optional extras.

The printer comes with a drum and toner cartridge preinstalled, but you have to remove it to take off spacing and packing pieces before it'll run. Folding down the 150-sheet multipurpose tray and folding up the control panel provides easy access to the cartridge.

Drivers are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, UNIX, Citrix, Novell and various other operating systems and as standard it can handle PCL 6 and Postscript Level 3 documents in emulation.

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