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Lexmark X544dw - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams



  • Recommended by TR
Lexmark X544dw


Our Score:


Lexmark claims 23ppm for this machine and our five-page text document completed in 24s, giving a real-world speed of 12.5ppm, only just over half the rated speed. However, on the longer, 20-page test, the speed climbed to 19.4ppm, which is really not far off the rating.

Duplex print is also reasonably quick, with the same 20-page document printed on 10 pages in 1min 51secs, a speed of 10.8 sides per minute. Our five-page black text and colour graphics test took 26s, hardly any longer than the straight black document, so there's little time penalty for printing in colour.

Colour print from the front panel USB socket took 35s for an image around twice the size of a 15 x 10cm photo. It was slightly strange that a true 15 x 10cm print from the PC took 1min 39secs, but the result was repeatable. A single-page colour copy took 16s and a five-page black text copy from the ADF took a speedy 30s.

An interesting feature of this machine is its full duplex copy support. It's quite unusual to have duplex on a colour laser multifunction and to have one with a full duplex scanner as well as print engine increases its rarity. It works well and you can select to convert a single-sided original to a duplex copy, to take a duplex original and create a simplex copy or go 2-sided to 2-sided. Although the scanner has to make two passes when scanning duplex, the results are still quite speedy, with our 10-sided test document copying in 1min 32secs.

The print quality is very well geared to office use. With the default resolution of 1,200dpi, black text comes through very sharp and precise. Block colours, such as in business graphs and charts, are strong and vivid, with no signs of haloing around superimposed text. A colour copy was gratifyingly close to the original.

Colour photos are a bit too primary, but not enough to be distracting. In fact, for many uses this may well enhance the impact of some images.

Costing out all the consumables gives an ISO black page rate of 3.6p and an ISO colour page rate of 13p, including 0.7p for paper. The black cost is reasonable, though the colour one is on the high side. The X544dw can use extra-high yield toner cartridges, offering 6,000 pages black and 4,000 pages of each colour, which helps reduce maintenance costs.


This is a good, colour laser multifunction, well up to the rigours of a busy small office or workgroup. We still haven't worked out why printer makers think colour printer owners will print fewer pages than mono printer customers and can therefore put smaller trays on their colour machines. Other than that and the slightly high colour page cost, this is a high-value, versatile printer.


January 12, 2011, 7:54 pm

Thanks very much for this review. For ages I have been hanging onto an inkless Canon inkjet multifunction for it's duplex ADF scanner and a slightly faulty Dell 3100cn for colour laser duties. I have kept searching for one machine that can do the lot, bring duplex printing to the party and have decent colour print quality .. now I need search no more.

I have discovered that there is also an X544dn version which does without the wireless and saves about £80 - I will get this.


January 31, 2011, 3:33 pm

So, I bought it :) As I said above, I went for the DN version which does without the wireless.

It prints even better than the Dell 3100cn that it replaces and the duplex scanner is faster than the Canon. I now have one device that does more than the two it replaces!

Tried a duplex photocopy and the copy was indistinguishable from the original - actually it looked a bit better!!

It's a bit slow to the first print. This is no bother to me and I have set it to enter power save one minute after printing.

If you play around with the set up CD, including clicking on the little + sign next to your selected printer, you can just put in the few bits of software you need and leave out the rest. Doing this, it was easy enough to set it up as a network printer to be shared between 3 PCs and a USB scanner for my desktop .. I didn't really 'get' the network scan option and don't need it.

Anybody who is a compulsive comment reader will work out that I have been looking for a decent duplex scanner/colour laser printer combo for many months (all the while with the Dell saying black toner was under 10%!). I have been patient and read every TR review. Glad I waited.

Thanks TR!

Cris Mas

September 14, 2014, 9:12 am

I have the Lexmark X544dw but cannot get it to duplex on A5

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