- Memory card and PictBridge sockets
- Twin scanning heads
- Convenient, front-loading trays
- Slow duplex print and copy
- Fussy about paper size changes
- Android print app has odd limitations
- Review Price: £296.00
- Laser-like ink yields
- Duplex scanner
- Large touchscreen
- Fast black text print
- Optional second paper tray
About the same size as a typical office photocopier, this machine is surprisingly deep as well as quite a bit wider than the A4 paper with which it works. The 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) is well integrated into the top of the printer and the nicely weighted scanner lid includes an automatic lock, when sheets are being through the ADF.
The steeply sloping front face of the machine uses an irritating, high-gloss black plastic, but it does mean you can use it to trim your beard or apply makeup while waiting for duplex copies… and you will wait.
There’s only one physical button on the control panel, to switch the machine on and off, with everything else being done via a 110mm touchscreen, bordered to left and right by dedicated, illuminating touch buttons. If you’ve used any of Lexmark’s Pro range all-in-ones before, the layout and options will be very familiar.
There’s a 300-sheet paper tray, though no multi-purpose feed for special papers or photo blanks. If you want to print photos, you have to remove whatever’s in the main tray, or invest in an optional second 300-sheet tray to fit under the OfficeEdge Pro5500. The output tray slides out from above the feed tray with a flip-over, wire extension, which is only partially successful as an end stop.
The four, high-capacity ink cartridges slide in from the front, behind a fold down panel to the right of the paper trays; an easy and convenient process. Connection is via USB, Ethernet or wireless and the printer supports WPS setup, making the wireless option very convenient. Software includes Abbyy FineReader for OCR and whatever downloadable apps you choose from the Lexmark Smart Solution website.
Lexmark rates the OfficeEdge Pro5500 at a maximum black print speed of 40ppm in draft and 21ppm to the ISO standard, with colour quoted at 36ppm and 14ppm, respectively.
These figures don’t include any processing time before print starts, which can be up to 20s and we saw a maximum normal mode speed of 15ppm for our 20 page test document, with 11ppm more typical on shorter runs. Colour results were 7.9ppm for a five-page document. These are good speeds for a business inkjet and compare well with similarly priced laser and LED printers. It’s just the claims that are silly.
Where things really slow down, though, is when printing duplex. When Epson released its WorkForce Pro machines, we were pleased to find that its new print engine at least partly resolved the problem of waiting for the ink to dry between sides of a duplex page. Lexmark hasn’t done the same, so our 20-page test printed as a 20-side duplex document only gave 4.5 sides per minute, around half the Epson’s speed.
This slow duplex print reflects in the OfficeEdge Pro5500’s copies, too. Lexmark has intelligently fitted two scanning heads, which means both sides of a duplex page can be scanned in one pass. This happens much more quickly than the corresponding duplex print, though, so the machine has to buffer each page in memory while waiting for the print engine to catch up. It took 2:16 to copy our five page duplex document, when the https://www.trustedreviews.com/epson-workforce-pro-wp-4535dwf_Printer_review Epson Workforce Pro WP-4535DWF did it in 1:46.
There were a couple of other anomalies in the Lexmark machine, such as its not appearing to recognise a change of paper size when printing photos, even when we had manually selected 15 x 10cm image and paper in the appropriate menus. Also, Lexmark’s Android wireless print app wouldn’t work with our Samsung Galaxy Mini, a current model running version Android 2.6.
The print quality is close to laser standard and, even in draft mode, is more than suitable for day-to-day office documents. Colour print is very bright and arresting, with no signs of banding or dither patterns. Copies are close to originals in print quality and colour reproduction. Photos, while losing a little detail in darker areas, are vivid and lifelike.
The ink cartridges are available in two capacities, with the XL versions offering 2,500 ISO black pages and 1,600 ISO colour. At current prices, they give page costs of 1.8p for black and 5.7p for colour. The black cost is identical to Epson’s, though the colour cost is around 0.7p per page higher.
Don’t get us wrong, the Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro5500 is a robust office inkjet, which includes all the essentials for a machine aimed at the SOHO market. It’s fast (except for duplex), prints well and is cheap to run. Unfortunately for Lexmark, so are Epson’s WorkForce Pro WP-4535DWF and HP’s Officejet Pro 8600, both of which are roughly half the price of this machine. In these tight times, the company may have to rethink its pricing.
Score in detail
Print Speed 7
Print Quality 9
|Card slot||SD, MemoryStick|
|Connection Type||Ethernet, USB|
|Extra Features||110mm touchscreen, duplex print, copy and scan, fax, phone/tablet print|
|Number of Catridges||4|
|Sheet Capacity||300 sheet tray|
|Print Resolution (Dots per inch)||(colour) 4800 x 3600dpi|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||21ipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||14ipm|
|Max Paper Weight||230g/sm|
|Print Without PC||Yes|
|Scan Resolution (Dots per inch)||1200 x 4800dpi|
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