- Review Price: £179.78
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.
Duplex printing is quicker than most inkjet all-in-ones, because there’s a shorter break between printing the first and second sides of each page. Our 20-side test document completed in 4:33, over half a minute faster than the recently reviewed HP OfficeJet Pro L7590 and twice as fast as the otherwise excellent Canon PIXMA MP970.
Print quality on plain paper isn’t wonderful. Despite the pigmented EverColor 2 inks the X9575 uses, black text is noticeably fuzzy, with none of the edges of characters sharp or well-defined. Colours are cleaner, though some shades come out too light. Text printed over coloured background is well registered and easy to read. Photo prints err to the over-bright side of the spectrum and may require colour compensation to produce good results.
Copies taken from the scanner come through well, though colours are again paler than from originals. Scans are well defined, thanks to an optical resolution of 1,200 x 4,800ppi.
There were some operational difficulties with the X9575 sample we reviewed, in particular when trying to get it to print a 15 x 10cm photo from an SD card, on a photo blank of the same size. The image was portrait but, when we previewed it, the LCD display showed it cropped off on a landscape-orientated page.
It also asked if we wanted to set a new paper size as a default and when we agreed, the machine rebooted, re-detected the memory card and lost all edits in the process. When we tried to rotate the image to match the paper, the LCD screen corrupted. Both these problems were repeatable, though not consistent. These difficulties could be isolated to this sample; if not, we think some tweaks to the firmware may be needed.
As always, the running costs of a printer depend on the prices you can find for its consumables. In this case, it’s just the two ink cartridges, one black and the other three-colour. You can swap the black cartridge for a photo one, if you want to print six-ink photos.
The high-yield 43 and 44 cartridges are supplied as standard with the X9575 and we found replacement ones at the jamboree that is Amazon for around £12 each, giving ISO page running costs of 3.39p for black and 5.71p for colour. These are not particularly good figures and by no means best of class.
Assuming the inconsistencies we noticed are isolated to this sample, the X9575 is a fair all-in-one printer. With duplex, wireless and a colour preview monitor, it has most of the current must-haves, but its core printing technology still doesn’t put it up among the leaders. With a street-price of £180, there’s better value to be had, too.
Score in detail
Print Speed 5
Print Quality 6
|Networking||Wi-Fi, Fast Ethernet|
|Card slot||CompactFlash Type I/II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Secure Digital, MMC, Microdrive, xD-Picture Card, xD-Picture Card Type H, xD-Picture Card Type M|
|Paper Size||Envelope No. 10, Envelope No. 7 3/4, Envelope No. 9, A4, A5, B5 Envelope, C5 Envelope, DL Envelope, Envelope No. 6 3/4, A2 Baronial, A6 Card, C6 Envelope, Custom Size, Executive, Legal, Letter, Statement, L, 2L, Chou 3 Envelope, Chou 4 Envelope, Chou 40 Envelope, Kakugata 3, Kakugata 4, Kakugata 5, Kakugata 6, 3.50" x 5", 4" x 6", 4" x 8", 5" x 7"|
|Sheet Capacity||150 sheets|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||33 ppmipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||28 ppmipm|
|Scan Resolution (Dots per inch)||1200 dpi|