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The only reason Lexmark can get away with the print quality is that plain paper print is only half the picture. Quite a few dedicated photo printers, including models from HP as well as Lexmark, use only three colours and still produce very respectable photo prints. The X2350 produces very respectable photo prints and if that’s all you’ll be doing with it, fine. Just don’t expect plain paper prints or copies of the same quality.
Print speeds range from slow to very slow, nowhere near the quoted 15ppm (though that’s in draft mode). We saw just over 2ppm for black text and around 1.7ppm for colour. It took over two minutes to print a 15 x 10cm photo, so it’s no express.
It could hardly be simpler to work out the running costs of the X2350. With just one cartridge, you simply divide its cost by the number of pages it’ll produce and add in the cost of the paper. We found cartridge and paper costs a smidgeon cheaper than when we tested the Z735, which uses the same No 1 cartridge. Lexmark now quotes 200 pages at 15 per cent cover (either black or colour), slightly different from before.
When we ran page yield tests, we got 286 black pages from the machine – though it reported low ink at a pretty daft 128 pages – and 252 colour pages. These figures and the new prices give costs of 4.8p for a text page and 24.9p for a colour one. The black print cost is high, as you’re effectively printing 15 per cent cover, but the colour print cost is surprisingly low. You also have to bear in mind the low initial price of the X2350.
This is, without doubt, the least expensive all-in-one machine on the market. It works well, if a little slowly, but is mainly held back by its plain paper print quality. Photos are fine, but black text and colour graphics look insipid – as if they’ve all been printed in draft mode. Best advice is to see a plain paper print sample before you buy.