Review Price £187.00
Any mono laser printer with a scanner on top can be called a multifunction printer. The extra functionality comes from the ability to copy and in many cases to send and receive faxes. This combination is ideal for most small and home offices and Lexmark's X204n has a neat footprint and a fair turn of speed, to boost its appeal.
It's rather square-cut looks are functional, with a 30-sheet, dark grey Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) contrasting with the cream front and rear panels. The scanner itself is a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) device, which has the advantage of a very shallow mechanism, but some problems scanning greyscale prints.
The control panel is well laid out, with a 2-line by 16-character, backlit LCD display set in the centre. Three navigation buttons directly in front of the display, along with Back and Menu buttons, control all setup parameters, with a column of small function keys to switch between copy, scan and fax modes on the left and a keypad and other fax-related buttons on the right.
Directly below the control panel is the output slot for printed pages and, although this has a small extension with a flip-up paper stop, if you're using A4 paper, you probably won't need to extend it. At the base of the front panel is a 250-sheet paper tray and there's a single-sheet, multi-purpose slot directly above this, for special media.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, as well as for a phone line and handset. As with any multifunction machine including fax, connecting your phone through the printer enables fax calls to be taken automatically, without deafening you with fax tones.
Software provided with the machine includes Presto! PageManager, Lexmark's Scan Center and emulated drivers for both PCL and PostScript. All the software installed without problem. Drivers are also available for Windows, OS X, Linux in a variety of distributions, Citrix MetaFrame, Novell and UNIX. This is an impressive list for a comparatively low-end device.