Changes to all-in-one printers have got to the stage of being evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Lexmark's new X9575, its top of the range device, has all the bells and whistles you could want, but nothing fundamentally different in its print engine or paper handling. However, two features of the machine that are special are an extended direct replacement warranty, which lasts five years, and high yield cartridges included as standard - none of your half-filled, ‘starter' cartridges here.
Styled in Lexmark's trademark black, white and silver livery, with some mid-grey thrown in for good measure, the X9575 has a conventional layout. At the front is a 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), mounted on top of an A4 flatbed scanner. Beneath this is an elegantly laid-out control panel, with a minimum of controls, but including a 60mm colour LCD screen and a numeric keypad for dialling fax numbers.
Below this is a 150-sheet paper tray, on top and to the back of which is an awkward-to-reach feed for envelopes and 15 x 10 centimetre photo blanks, well inside the machine. To the right are two memory card slots, which take all the common types, and a PictBridge socket for direct camera connection.
At the back, as well as a USB 2 socket there's one for a fax phone line and a small aerial which shows this machine is fitted with WiFi. An extra 150-sheet paper tray is an option.
Load and run the software CD and you're given step-by-step instructions on setting up the machine, from taking the tapes off, to loading the cartridges and copying the software across. The software bundle includes Presto! Page Manager and Presto! Forms, along with Abbyy FineReader Sprint 6 for OCR.
Lexmark's own software is good for all the usual functions, but can also convert images directly to PDF files, a handy extra. The printer driver is designed for quick document configuration, but includes control of the neatly built-in duplexer - there's no big lump sticking out the back of the X9575. Watermarks and overlays are supported and there's simple image enhancement provided, too.
Lexmark is honest enough to quote print speeds for normal as well as draft printing and claims 11ppm for black print and 5ppm for colour. Our five page black text document completed in 48 seconds, giving a real-world speed of 6.25ppm and the black text with colour graphics page, again in a five-page run, took 2:11, or 2.29ppm. The company's figures are still optimistic, therefore and this couldn't be described as a fast printer.