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Comparison: Low-Price Multifunction Devices

Office Quality

All the printers were used in default mode with no custom settings. The paper weight was 80g/m².

Original graphic enlarged 3XOriginal text enlarged 3X

As before, the printed pages were scanned at 300 dpi to bring out the good and bad points of each.

Canon F20Canon F20
Epson CX 3200Epson CX 3200
hp psc 1210hp psc 1210
Lexmark X5150Lexmark X5150

Canon and HP come out as winners. Their character precision and color brightness put them ahead of Epson (fuzzy lines, graphics on a green background are practically indecipherable, and characters in black text look a bit blurred) and Lexmark, which alters colors considerably.

Print speeds in color were similar. None of the machines tested reached four pages per minute, though they all claim to turn out at least ten pages per minute!

The F20 does 8.3 ppm when, as with the i850 and i550, drying time is manually lowered to the minimum via the driver properties. Otherwise, it runs at 4.2 ppm.

So, for office printing (quality plus speed) Canon comes first, just ahead of its rivals. At this point, none of the devices deserves to be slammed; they are all satisfactory.