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Lexmark X560n Colour Laser MFP
The multi-function concept has matured considerably in the last couple of years and machines that can scan, copy and fax as well as print are firmly established in the business, as well as home, spheres. Lexmark’s X560n may not have a particularly extravagant name, but it combines all the major components in one heavy-duty device.
The machine weighs in at 40 kg, so best not to move it about on your own, unless you have an Icelandic name and have recently forged a double-bladed axe out of a fallen meteorite. It's big enough that the flatbed scanner, complete with its 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), doesn't stick out the sides from the colour laser engine below.
The large control panel comes complete with an 85mm diagonal LCD display, with a good backlight. By default, the panel shows the levels of each of the four toner cartridges which, while handy, is probably not the most vital piece of day-to-day information.
There’s a number pad for dialling fax numbers and a separate, 10-number shortcut pad, as well as function buttons to select copy, fax, scan and e-mail, and large coloured buttons to start and stop print and copy jobs.
The paper tray at the bottom of the machine can take up to 400 sheets and the multi-purpose tray, which folds down from the front panel, can take an unusually large 150 sheets more. At the back are sockets for a legacy parallel connection, as well as USB and Ethernet networking, all of which are standard. An extra, 550-sheet paper tray, a duplexer and a stand are all available as options.
Inside, the colour laser engine used by the X560n is the same as in the Xerox Phaser 6180 we reviewed recently. This could mean that Lexmark makes the engine for Xerox, that Xerox makes the engine for Lexmark or that they both buy their laser engines from a third party. It doesn't matter that much, as the engine is both easy to service and produces excellent prints.
Setting up the machine physically involves folding down the front cover and inserting four combined drum and toner cartridges which slot in, one above the other, in an easy way and with a positive location.
The bundled software includes a copy of Abbyy FineReader Sprint, as well as drivers for both emulated PCL 6 and genuine Adobe PostScript Level 3. There's an interesting address book tool which collects together your various contact details for fax and e-mail, so you can send documents directly from the front panel of the X560n without recourse to your PC.