Encouraged by sales of its rock-bottom, entry-level all-in-one, the X2350, Lexmark has now introduced the X2470, a slightly upgraded machine at a substantially upgraded price. Where we could find the X2350 at £40 all in, the X2470 can’t be had for much less than £58. Still inexpensive in the overall sweep of multi-functions, but what do you get for nearly 50 per cent more money?
This is a modest little all-in-one, quite blocky in appearance and close to white in colour. It looks like it has had a chunk taken out of the front and has trays at the rear to feed paper and at the front to receive it. Both pull out telescopically, so the device has a small footprint when it's not in use.
The top lifts up to reveal a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scanner, which has an extremely compact scanning head, but also a very small depth of field, so may cause problems scanning anything with a 3D profile – such as books with spines.
The most obvious differences from the earlier X2350 machine are the extra button on the small control panel at front right and the socket for a PictBridge USB cable in its front panel.
The extra button controls a new feature, where you can lay a 15 x 10cm (4 x 6in) photo print on the flatbed and produce a copy directly to a glossy photo blank, without the intervention of a PC. The PictBridge socket means you can connect any PictBridge-enabled camera and use the camera’s LCD monitor to select and print images, directly. There are no memory card slots in the machine, but without an LCD display of its own, there would be little use for them.
Lexmark provides a good bundle of application software, including Abbyy FineReader 6 OCR and both photo management and photo editing applets, designed by Lexmark. The print driver tries to be as helpful as possible, offering a semi-Wizard interface for quick selection of the settings you may need for common printing tasks.
Although the print engine appears identical to that in the X2350, the firmware that drives it must have changed, as print quality, particularly of black text, has improved considerably. The earlier machine produced grey-ish text which we thought poor, but the X2470 is better. Still not as densely black as a printer with a dedicated black cartridge, it’s now more than passable for everyday correspondence.