Fully-fledged colour laser multifunction printers are still fairly thin on the ground, particularly those that claim a workgroup-level print speed of 23ppm. Lexmark’s X544dw is and does and has an unconventional design, too.
Coloured dark grey and off-white, it looks business-like and is reasonably compact, other than the output tray, which sits unusually at the back of the machine and adds to its depth. The 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) is neat and when you lift the scanner cover an illuminated arrow shows you which corner to line up your original to; a nice touch.
The control panel is logically laid out with illuminated mode buttons for copy, scan and fax at the left-hand end, controls for content type and for copy parameters next and then the main operation controls, clustered around a 2-line by 16-character, backlit LCD display. Further right again are fax options, a number pad and finally, at the extreme right, a USB/PictBridge socket.
The main paper tray holds 250 sheets and has a single-sheet feed fitted right at desk level. This seems a bit meagre on a machine intended for workgroup use and although you can add an optional 550-sheet tray, which also incorporates a 100-sheet multipurpose feed, it would be good to have 500-sheet capacity from the off.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, but the X544dw also offers a wireless connection. To set this up, you need to temporarily connect the machine via USB, to transfer details of your wireless network and any security passcodes.
Unusually, the four toner cartridges clip in at the side of the machine, once you've released and raised up the scanner section from the right. Renewing these consumables is very straightforward and doing the same for the waste bottle and drums should only need to happen every 18,000 and 30,000 pages, respectively.
As is usual with Lexmark machines, particularly its office laser devices, there's plenty of support for different platforms. As well as Windows and OS X, drivers are available for various iterations of Linux, UNIX and Citrix. Windows users also get a copy of Presto! PageManager.