Unlike its direct competitors, Lexmark hasn't been revamping its product lines, which contain relatively few models. The X5470 is not really a replacement of an earlier model, but more of a complement to two relatively old products: the P6350, which is more photo-oriented, and the X8350, which is aimed more at office use.
Ergonomics And Design
One point sets the X5470 clearly apart from the four other models tested in this article: it's the only model with a built-in fax. We chose to include it in our tests despite its more professional orientation, because its other characteristics put it pretty close to the other models.
As is often the case with models including fax, the graphical LCD display is replaced with a text display here. That means you can't view photos stored on a memory card. This time, though, Lexmark has included a function for printing out an index sheet with thumbnails of all the photos on your card. After printing it, all you do is check the photos you want to print and then put the thumbnail sheet on the scanner to print the series of photos you want - it's quick and convenient.
Lexmark also had the good idea of including an automatic document loader. Its capacity is somewhat limited at only 10 sheets, but it's fairly practical for faxing or copying a document with several pages. You shouldn't be in a hurry, though, because the document loader is quite slow.
Like HP's Photosmart C4180 or the AIO 926 from Dell, the Lexmark X5470 uses combined ink cartridges. Here again, the results will be very good in terms of quality with a photo cartridge, but mediocre if you use only the black cartridge. Note that as with the HP model, the draft mode for text produces excellent quality; you'll almost never need to use normal mode.
Like its competitors, Lexmark has succeeded in optimizing its printing engine, even though it's based on a fairly old technology. This model is approximately 20% faster than last year's P6350 with photos, though the improvement doesn't necessarily show up when printing text or graphics. Still, our results were good overall, especially since the draft mode, which is obviously faster, is often good enough.
Scanning And Copying
The presence of the automatic document loader is obviously a plus for the X5470, but in terms of performance, the scanner is fairly mediocre, and here again, you won't want to count on scanning at more than 300 dpi very often. Note that black-and-white copying was one of the slowest of all the models we tested for this article, with only the Epson CX6000 putting in a slower performance.