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The X8350 is an inkjet-based, all-in-one business machine, sitting somewhere between Lexmark’s inexpensive home ink-jets and its high duty office lasers. Intended for small offices, it uses relatively low-capacity inkjet cartridges, but comes in at under £100 from Internet sources.
This is a very neat business machine, considering its scan and copy facilities include an automatic sheet feeder (ASF). It achieves this by using the design pioneered by HP, where paper is fed from a tray at the front and performs a 180 degree turn, before being printed on and ejected to another tray directly above the first.
Lexmark has aimed to cover all bases with the X8350. As well as the ASF, there's a memory card reader for your digital photos, complete with an LCD display to preview them, and fax facilities.
The machine is controlled from a no-nonsense angled panel at the front and this includes quick-dial numbers for the fax, a number keypad and start buttons for mono and colour copies. The bright LCD panel is well used and the status information it provides is better organised than in many devices of the type.
Above the control panel is the hinged lid of the flatbed scanner, which has the ASF built into its lid. This is a compact little feeder, taking up very little extra height, though the design limits its capacity to 50 sheets. The print feed tray can take 100 sheets at a time, which is also a little low for a home office machine.
On the right-hand side of the front panel of the device is a card reader which handles all the common types, including xD and MicroDrive. There’s also a PictBridge socket for direct connection of cameras.
Lexmark provides a comprehensive suite of software to go with the X8350, including Presto! PageManager, Abbyy FineReader and the Lexmark Productivity Suite. These programs handle OCR for the scanner and photo manipulation of images uploaded from the memory card readers. There’s also a utility that can take scanned pages and turn them straight into PDF files, an invaluable aid for putting documents onto the Web or sending them as attachments.
The whole collection of applications installs without problem and is front-ended by the Lexmark Productivity Suite. There’s quite a bit of supplied software useful outside the strict confines of printing and scanning.
Print speed is never a particular strength of Lexmark machines, but our five page text document completed in 47 seconds, giving it a real-world print speed of over 6ppm. Colour print speed came out at just under 2ppm.