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Lexmark began life producing printers for Apple before changing its name to Lexmark.

And under this name, the company has grown its skillset and made its reputation on multi-function centres. The X8350 is Lexmark’s latest product, and trades in on the current fascination with digital photography.

As such, it features an inbuilt card-reader, PictBridge, and PC-free photo image editing. As well as this, it includes the usual multi-function features such as faxing, photocopying and scanning.

With such a focus on photography, what are the prints like? Well, excellent. Colours are reproduced with vibrancy and there is very little discernable grain to areas such as sky, which can prove tricky for inkjet printers. Speed is also on a par with other printers in its class with an A4 print taking four minutes and 27 seconds.

Text quality is also very good, and fast: in normal mode, the printer reproduced a 20 page text document in 2 minutes and 38 seconds. And in ‘quick copy’ mode it managed 1 minute and 31 seconds, and while there was significant banding the text was still perfectly readable, with none of the bleed that hampers brands such as Canon and Epson.

Setup was also a breeze, with the installation guiding you quickly through the process.

So, are there any downsides to this machine? The only thing we can think of is that there are only two separate ink tanks – one black and one colour – meaning that once one colour runs out the entire tank needs replacing, which could become costly. But with print quality this good, you won’t mind so much.

The X8350 is an excellent machine, and adds several features to its predecessor the X7170 such as a memory card reader for a lower price. It is well suited to both small offices and photography enthusiasts alike.

 

Lexmark X8350 | $449 |

For: Excellent print quality; fast; affordable.

Against: No individual colour tanks; no CD printing

Verdict: A truly versatile machine which is equally at home with printing photographs and reproducing text documents.

 

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