Lexmark Colour Laser 

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Colour laser printers are now appearing with more economic price tags. However, while lighter on the pocket, they are still heavy to move around.
Lexmark X502n colour laser printer

The Lexmark X502n All-In-One is certainly a substantial piece of kit.  Measuring 534 x 482 x 437mm (H x W x D) and weighing 35kg, it is the type of unit that is unlikely to be moved around too much as it provides print, copy, scan, fax and ADF (Automatic Document Feed) capabilities whether connected to a network or local computer using either Fast Ethernet or USB 2.0 connectivity.  Predominately computer grey in colour, this All-In-One follows the fairly standard built design by positioning the flat-bed scanner and ADF unit on top of a colour laser printer.

While Lexmark have included a large poster-style sheet for setting up the X502n, this is not quite as useful as it might have been.  The poster sheet relies entirely on illustrations without the benefit of any instructional text to help the user carry out tasks that include inserting the four toner cartridges (black, yellow, cyan and magenta), which slot in at the front, and a photo developer cartridge which drops in from the top of the unit access beneath the scanner.  All the necessary leads and adapters required for linking to an appropriate connection for faxing capabilities are supplied as standard.

While standalone print and scan operations need to be instigated from a computer, other activities, such as copying and dialling numbers for faxing purpose, can be carried out by using the options available from the unit's control panel.  Along with a 6 x 1.2cm LCD screen, this panel contains ten quick access fax buttons; a telephonic number pad; plus buttons to carry out actions such as selecting colour or monochrome copying and navigating through various menu options for adjusting settings.

The X502n comes, as standard, with paper input and output features capable of holding 250 sheets.  An optional additional paper input drawer is available and this can hold 530 sheets.  The ADF unit can hold a further 35 sheets.  Internal memory is set at a maximum of 128MB.

Before connecting the X502n you need to install the supplied software first.  No option is given allowing you to cherry pick from the available items.  You have to accept the full package of print and scan drivers plus a copy of Presto! Page Manager software and an OCR module.  At the appropriate time you will be advised when to connect and turn on the All-In-One device (incidentally the on/off switch is located in the lower, rear left corner of the unit).  Following a brief initialisation procedure, with feedback being provided on the unit's LCD panel, the X502n will be ready for use.

Lexmark has rated the print speed of this All-In-One device at 31ppm monochrome and 8ppm colour.  My tests came reasonably close to these figures.  When opting for the High Speed print setting I achieved 30ppm monochrome and 7ppm colour.  The print quality, at this setting, was reasonable enough for most purposes.  Other print settings are Standard and High Quality.  A similar set of options are available when copying text and mixed content documents plus photos in monochrome and colour.  The scanner is capable of delivering resolutions of up to 1200 x 1200dpi.  Fax capabilities are well up to standard,

Earlier I mentioned that Lexmark has bundled Presto! Page Manager and OCR software.  As its title indicates the Presto! Software provides document management facilities.  The OCR software is ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus.

Both standard and high yield cartridges are available for use with the X502n.  Standard black cartridges are priced at £50 and should give 2,500 pages while colour cartridges have an expected yield of 1,500 and cost in the region of £60.  High yield cartridges are rated at 3,000 pages for colour and 5,000 pages for black with a price tag of £80 and £75 respectively.

While the X502n's performance was fine in most respects, I did have to endure some paper jams.  These occurred when attempting to print on both sides of the paper.  As you usually require access to the rear of the unit in order to clear the paper path, some consideration for this possibility needs to be factored into where you position the device.  I also felt that relying totally on online documentation is a mistake;  The Lexmark X502n has been priced at £389 and will require either a Windows 2000 and later or Mac OS X system.,7044,252735_160632059_1065828875_en,00.html

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