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Lexmark C524n review

Verdict:

The C524n is a quicker colour printer than the C522 and is a little cheaper to run, but it costs over £100 more to buy. Epson's C2600n is faster in mono, only marginally slower in colour and has lower running costs.

Review Date: 22 May 2006

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: Alan Lu

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

Lexmark's C524n colour laser printer is similar to the C522n we reviewed in Shopper March 2006.

The C524n has a 100-sheet multipurpose feeder rather than the C522n's single-sheet slot, has a higher duty-cycle and accepts higher capacity toners. Sadly, both printers ship with the same measly 1,500-page starter toners.

Lexmark's installation program encountered problems when creating a "Lexmark-enhanced TCP/IP port" on our notebook. We had to create a standard TCP/IP port and assign the printer to it manually.

The C524n is an upright printer and takes up less space than most of the other single-pass devices. Its fans were among the noisiest in this group, and even in Power Save mode it occasionally ran a powerful-sounding motor.

Along with HP's LaserJet 3600n, the C524n has the most basic paper input of this group. A 100-sheet multipurpose tray is built neatly into the front of its 250-sheet paper cassette, but the cassette protrudes from the rear of the shallow printer, leaving the paper stack open to dust. An optional 500-sheet paper cassette gives the C524n a maximum combined input of 850 sheets. Duplex printing is available only on the C524dn model and can't be retro-fitted to the C524n. It creased envelopes in our test.

The C524n is the most affordable printer in this group to print at 1,200 dots per inch (dpi). Although it isn't particularly fast, we were impressed with its high print quality. Black text was free from jaggedness and photos printed with great fine detailing and accurate colours.

Colour graphics were particularly good when printed with the PostScript driver, which rendered grey and colour text with impressively smooth outlines. PostScript printing was only marginally slower than the PCL times given in our table on page 102.

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