12 Color Laser Printers Explored

Lexmark C534n

As is so typical of Lexmark printers - in whatever market niche they're positioned - the C532n is attractively priced (street price of around $580-600), and offers a nice mix of features, functions, and capabilities. These include page rates of 24 ppm for black-and-white and 22 ppm for color, 1200x1200 resolution for black and 2400x600 for color, a sizable paper tray (500 pages), and a hefty 100,000-page monthly duty cycle. Both text and image output are pretty good, and there are plenty of add-on options available.

The Lexmark is another monolith, but offers a simple, understandable front panel and LCD character display.

Though the printer is blocky, its dimensions are in the middle of the units covered in this story at 19" x 17.3" x 20.2" (48.4 cm x 44 cm x 51.2 cm). Its weight is a respectable but not overwhelming 57 lbs (25.9 kg). The C534n comes equipped with 128 MB RAM, which may be extended to 640 MB with the installation of a single 512 MB 100-pin DDR SODIMM (available on the aftermarket for as little as $80). The unit can also accommodate 32 or 64 MB Flash cards, but these appear to be proprietary in format and are very expensive, even on the aftermarket. You can even purchase bar code or forms cards for this printer, as well as a special add-on encryption card. A second 550-sheet paper drawer for the C534n will set you back $299.

Consumables for this printer come in high-yield and standard sizes, and also include pre-paid return shipping options for those who wish to dispose of them properly - these are actually cheaper than those with no return included. An extra high-yield 8,000-page black cartridge costs $161 (return) or $187 (no return), while extra high-yield 7,000-page CMY color cartridges cost $180 (return) or $205 (no return). Standard 4,000-page black cartridges cost $104 (return) or $131 (no return), while standard 3,000-page CMY color cartridges cost $119 (return) or $144 (no return). High-yield cartridges are also available in both black and CMY colors; they fall between the standard and extra high-yield cartridges in both capacity and price.

This printer offers fast print times for both color and black-and-white pages in everyday use, as well as in the manufacturer's ratings. A USB port on the front panel also enables users to walk up, plug in a flash drive, and print files directly from the drive's contents using the front control panel. The plain-vanilla C532n does not include a duplexer for two-sided printing, but Lexmark does offer the C532dn with a built-in duplexer for $200 more than the plain C532 price: this is actually a better deal than adding a duplexer to most printers as an add-on option.

This unit is a great choice for both SOHO and personal home use. It offers a great combination of speed, flexibility, and features, and delivers speedy black-and-white and color output, at least at the low end of the color laser market, and among the units covered in this article.

  • gorbehnare
    I was kind of disappointed to see this article completely ignores that these printers employ different Colour Laser printing technologies. In terms of the cost of ownership and cost of print per page different technologies make a huge difference.

    This information can be found anywhere and this article is only good as a list of products that are available in the market and nothing more.
  • exceltoner
    Thank you for info. Do you know if this printer is compatible with a Mac?

    toner cartridge
  • I Have owned the Dell 3110cn Printer for about 7 years and it has been the best, most trouble free piece of hardware I have ever purchased. I was completely fed up with dealing with clogged up inkjet printheads, and walking around with purple hands. I bought the Dell Laser for around $379.00 and the only thing that I have replaced are the toner carts, of which I am on my third set. This Printer is bullet proof, and as a bonus it prints very acceptable color photos in high quality mode. Mine has paid for itself over and over and over with zero problems.