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Review This is a comparatively big machine, in a case full of bumps and bulges, and has a similar arrangement of drums and toner cartridges to the Dell 1320C.
It’s control panel is better than most, with a backlit two-line by 16-character LCD display and an array of six buttons to control functions. The 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom has a single-sheet feed built in below, at desk level. Uniquely in this group, a second 250-sheet tray is available as an option.
At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, and the printer has Windows, Mac OS X and Linux drivers, with a number of different distributions supported, as well as Unix and Citrix Metaframe.
Lexmark has a good heritage in business system support, going back to the days when it was IBM’s printer division.
Lexmark specs its C540N at 20ppm for both black and colour and the review machine produced 16.7ppm printing black and 10.3ppm in colour. These are the highest speeds in the group by over seven per cent for black and a full 20 per cent for colour.
The quality of prints isn’t reduced by the extra speed. Black text is sharp and dense. Colours are bright, a bit over-bright in places and registration of black text over colour isn’t perfect, but these problems are minor.
Toner cartridges are available in two yields and using the higher yield consumables gives costs per page of 3.3p and 15.5p. These sit in the middle of the field, cheaper than the Canon, HP and OKI, but more expensive than the Dell and Xerox. ®
Next: OKI C3450N