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Lexmark C532n review

Verdict:

Review Date: 13 Oct 2008

Price when reviewed: £293

Supplier: http://www.printerbase.co.uk

Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

Lexmark's C532n is a bulky workgroup printer that's been around for several years.

Due to the relatively stable nature of the technology, laser printer ranges aren't updated with great frequency, and this is still a current model. It's also a real bargain, thanks in part to its relative age and unfashionable design.

Internally, it has a separate OPC drum for each toner cartridge. Unfortunately, this layout makes it easy for toner dust to escape into the printer's body, which can lead to speckled prints and the risk of inhaling dust when you change toner or OPC cartridges.

There are some disadvantages to buying an older printer. The driver disc doesn't include Vista support, so Vista users must download drivers from http://downloads.lexmark.com. It's also fairly energy-hungry. It consumes a high 24.4W while idle, but you can configure its 15W standby mode to activate after as little as a minute. Unfortunately, it also takes a long time to wake up from standby. The menu and web interface includes several other settings designed to help you save energy and toner while printing, including a mode that forces the printer to use a bare minimum of black toner.

It has a single paper tray, capable of holding up to 250 sheets of A4. The tray can be expanded and retracted to hold various sizes of paper securely, but this mechanism was flimsy and difficult to adjust.

The driver has Best, Normal and Draft print modes, with a custom mode that lets you print at an effective resolution of 2,400x600dpi. Even in Normal mode, at the standard resolution of 1,200x1,200dpi, print quality was excellent, particularly on fine mono detail such as the 5pt lettering in our small font size test. Colour prints looked fantastic, although colour print speeds of 6.3ppm weren't all that fast.

The C532n is large, noisy when printing and power-hungry. Still, it's a great workgroup printer with excellent print quality and low print costs of 7p per mixed colour page. However, it's not quite as cheap or as economical as Epson's Aculaser C2800N.

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