Lexmark X9350 Wireless Office All-in-One
With its built-in networking capabilities (802.11 b/g and 10/100 Ethernet), the Lexmark X9350 comes equipped to serve a slightly larger audience than most of the other printers in this guide. Its 50-page ADF, standalone 33.6 kbps Group 3 fax modem and photo handling capabilities offer an indication of its readiness to handle most of the multi-function tasks you might choose to send its way.
The Lexmark X9350 features another "over-the-top" automatic document feed design.
In addition to standard four-color inkjet printing (CMYb), the X9350 offers optional six-color photo printing support (and adds light cyan and light magenta shades to the more typical CMYb mix). Its 32 ppm black and 27 ppm color top-end print speeds, and 27 cpm black and 26 cpm top-end copy speeds, put it at the top of the field in this Buyer's Guide where output is concerned. Its 20-ppm fax speed hits the same bar.
The X9350 also includes a built-in memory card reader for digital images and files. Formats supported include Compact Flash, Sony Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro, Secure Digital (SD) card, MultiMedia Card (MMC), Microdrive and xD-Picture Card. An optional adapter enables the X9350 to handle MiniSD, Sony Memory Stick Duo Pro and RS-MMC cards, as well.
Consumables for the X9350 run $25 for black and color text print cartridges, and $28 for a photo print cartridge. A second 150-page paper tray is available as an $80 add-on, and Fast Ethernet and Print Server networking add-ons are also available from Lexmark as well. This printer generally retails for around $220, though some deals in the $200 range are available. It offers a solid combination of price and capability to those who need networking and heavier duty cycles.
Though we trimmed the field of candidates from well over 60 to just 16 for this Buyer's Guide, there are still plenty of options to choose from at prices that range between $80 and $300. Given the broad functionality and the decent output speeds that even the cheapest of these MFC printers offer, we remain duly impressed by the state of MFC inkjet printer art and science. You're most likely to have to do without fax capability at the low end of the price range (though the relatively expensive Epson Stylus Photo RX620 forgoes fax capability in favor of advanced photo handling functions). That said, you'll be able to get usable photo prints out of just about any of these units.
We give special marks to the Brother 440CN for offering decent print and photo quality at a relatively low price, and also to the brand-new HP OfficeJet 7210 for delivering great print, fax, copy, scan and photo service at higher volumes for home-office/small-office situations. Any of the printers in this guide are likely to satisfy your needs for low-volume output, but only the HP OfficeJet 7210 is likely to be able to satisfy needs somewhat beyond such modest levels. Dell's Wireless 966 and LexMark's 9350 both earn points by offering wireless print connectivity, and the HP OfficeJet 7210, plus the Brother 845CW and 5640CN, all get points for providing built-in 10/100 Ethernet connectivity (the wireless models also support RJ45 connections for wired links as well). For SOHO situations, networking support will often be more than just a "nice-to-have" feature.
As we suspected, the MFC printer area turns out to be a hotbed of activity, technical offerings and innovation. We were surprised to observe so little mention of Bluetooth support among the various vendors in the mix, but optional elements that provide such access through USB ports make this point somewhat moot. We look forward to learning what goes on in the color and monochrome laser side of the printer business in the Buyer's Guides that follow next!
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