Printing standard black text or black and colour text and graphics on plain paper is no problem, with well coloured, though slightly over-inked printing. Colours are vivid and tints vary well from shade to shade. Even a full-colour copy came out well, close to the original we copied from. Double-sided print, using the machine’s built-in duplexer, also worked well, though there’s a noticeable pause between printing the first and second sides of each page.
More of a problem is the photo print. The print itself isn’t too bad, though there’s a blue cast to the colours. More of a problem is a scrub mark, probably from a feed roller, which is very obvious in the middle of our 15 x 10cm print on A4 photo paper. This is repeatable from sheet to sheet and does rather spoil the prints.
We noticed similar problems with handling portrait-oriented photos from a memory card, as we did on the X9575. While this machine didn’t reboot when we changed the orientation, it did still show a different orientation in the preview screen from the one in the editing screen, which is very confusing. It was quite a struggle to get it to print portrait on a portrait 15 x 10cm photo blank.
Lexmark quotes 10ppm for black print and 4ppm for colour and we saw 4.7ppm and 2.05ppm respectively in our speed tests, around half the fairly modest speed claimed for the machine. Again, we can only assume Lexmark doesn’t include rasterising time in its speed assessments. Our sample jobs regularly took 15 to 20 seconds before starting to print.
The running costs on the X4875 are exactly the same as on its big brother, the X9575, as Lexmark supplies them both with XL versions of its black and colour ink cartridges. These are good for 220 and 210 ISO pages, so hardly a heavy duty cycle. In fact, Lexmark quotes the machine at 1,500 pages a month, which is low by ‘professional’ standards.
Cost per page comes out at 3.39p for black print and 5.71p for colour. These are not particularly low figures and even with their higher capacity, you’re still likely to be out buying cartridges regularly.
Having looked at this ‘Professional’ machine from Lexmark, we feel the term is fanciful. The X4875 is best suited to a home or possibly home office environment, where it’s cheap to buy, but not particularly cheap to run. It has some trouble previewing photos and difficulty printing them without ‘tyre marks’. The warranty is good, but this only comes into play if the printer goes wrong. A little more work on the basics would make it more professional while it was working.