- Scan to e-mail
- Fast first page out
- Postscript L3 emulation as standard
- Poor greyscale copy quality
- Only a simplex scanner
- No quick-dial fax numbers
- Review Price: £132.00
- Duplex print as standard
- Full fax facilities
- Relatively fast laser engine
- Optional wireless connectivity
- 9,000 page toner gives low running costs
Cased in very-light and medium-dark grey plastic, the machine is angular enough to look functional, while not being intrusive in less utilitarian surroundings. The 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) has a slightly tilted feed tray but remains reasonably low profile and the main laser printer section feeds to a substantial output tray, directly underneath the scanner.
The control panel, which runs the full width of the front of the machine, is well laid out with a 2-line by 16-character LCD display in the centre, surrounded by buttons for navigation, menu selection and to start and stop Copy and Scan jobs. To the left of this are options for copying and function selection buttons for Copy, Scan/E-mail and Fax. To the right are a series of fax options and a numeric pad for entering numbers.
The main paper tray can take 250 sheets of paper and a fold down, single-sheet feed allows for special media. The machine can take one optional paper tray and this can be a 250 or 550 sheet unit. At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet connections and wireless connection is available as a further option.
The two-piece drum and toner cartridge slots in from the front and the photoconductor drum unit is good for 30,000 pages, before needing replacement. Lexmark provides Presto! PageManager for document handling and OCR and includes drivers for Postscript Level 3 and PCL 5 as standard. There’s support for Windows, OS X and Linux though, as usual, Linux drivers have to be downloaded.
Lexmark quotes a maximum speed of 28ppm, but we only saw about half of this under test. Our five-page text print returned a speed of 12ppm in normal mode, but this only rose to 12.5ppm when we selected draft mode. Then again, there was little noticeable difference in print quality, so you might as well use draft to gain the slight speed increase.
The 20-page test still only resulted in a speed increase of 2ppm, taking the speed up to 14ppm and we saw a top speed of 15ppm, when we ran the five-page text and graphics document. These speeds are fair for a mono laser, particularly one at this relatively low price.
When we ran the 20-side duplex document, we saw 13.0 sides per minute, a good turn of speed for duplex print. A single-page copy from the flatbed took 11s and a five-page document from the ADF still only took 22s, a very good turn of speed. Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo print on A4 took 24s, a reasonable result.
The quality of the prints varies quite a bit with the type of document being printed. Black text comes through very cleanly, with the default resolution of 1,200dpi ensuring there are no rough edges to any characters. Greyscale graphics are OK in small amounts, but graphics fills show some banding and a limited range of grey shades.
Our photo print was only fair, with some banding in large areas of fill and some loss of detail in dark shades. Photocopies of greyscale material are pretty ropey, with blotchy fills and darker shades coming through black, making overlaid text impossible to read.
The toner cartridges are available in capacities of 3,500 and 9,000 pages, with the 9,000 page part having a large enough yield to ensure you won’t need to maintain the printer too often. At current Internet prices, we calculate a cost per ISO text page of 2.5p. While not the lowest cost we’ve seen for this class of machine, it’s still a relatively cheap device to run.
Perhaps the biggest factor in favour of the Lexmark X264dn is its asking price. It’s exceptional to be able to buy a machine with this spec and feature set for under £150. It’s not a loss leader, either, as the consumables are priced to give very reasonable running costs, particularly if you can afford the high yield cartridges. It’s reasonably quick and produces good prints, though greyscale copies are disappointing.
Score in detail
Print Speed 7
Print Quality 7
|Connection Type||Ethernet, USB|
|Extra Features||Duplex print, copy and scan, High yield cartridge available|
|Number of Catridges||1|
|Sheet Capacity||250 sheets|
|Print Resolution (Dots per inch)||2400 x 2400dpi|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||28ipm|
|Max Paper Weight||163g/sm|
|Print Without PC||Yes|
|Scan Resolution (Dots per inch)||600 x 600dpi|