Colour print on plain paper is solid and reasonably faithful to the original hues, though slightly paler in tone in the richer colours. A colour photocopy taken from the flatbed scanner loses more of the richness, but again for day-to-day home, or home office, use it won’t be a problem.
Photo output is surprisingly good, up with rival photo printers costing up to £100. Colours are well rendered and images are sharp and with a good level of detail in both light and dark areas of the image. Lexmark’s photo print copy button produces a print which is obviously less vivid than the original, but a fair working copy. It does take nearly four and a half minutes to do it, though.
Print speeds are very similar to those of the X2350, which are not good. It took two minutes 18 seconds to print our five page text document, which equates to just over 2ppm, and the text and graphics test was a smidgeon slower.
To its credit, Lexmark quotes the machine’s speed as ‘printing in QuickPrint mode and excluding processing time’, but we see no reason to exclude the time it takes to rasterise a page in software, before sending it to the printer. This is a function of the efficiency of the driver, which is the responsibility of the manufacturer, in this case Lexmark. It’s the overall printing time that will matter to you, as you can’t do anything with a printed document until the last page lands on the output tray.
Since there’s only a single cartridge to buy and this prints black or colour, calculating printing costs is simple. We printed 198 black pages and 174 colour pages with the X2470 and the cheapest we could find a cartridge was £11.99, so with paper costs taken into account, a five per cent black page comes out at 6.52p with a 15 per cent colour photo at 25.7p. The black print cost is the highest we’ve seen for a while and is, presumably, one of the reasons Lexmark can keep the retail price of the machine down. You can at least spread the cost, though, as the individual cartridge price is low.
This is a better all-in-one than the X2350; it has improved black print, can print from a PictBridge camera and can photocopy from 15 x 10cm prints to duplicate them. It still takes as long and only costs slightly less to print a page, so it’s up to you whether you consider these extra features worth the higher price. At £58, it’s closer to, though still below, the price of some impressive rivals.