Review: Lexmark X7675 All-in-One Inkjet Printer - Page 2

By Aaron Weiss
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Let's Print

First and foremost, the X7675 is a printer. Its inkjet uses two cartridges—one black and one combined three-color. You can replace the black with an optional five-color photo cartridge for producing highest quality photo prints, although most people will be quite satisfied with the quality of photos using the included three-color cartridge.

With only two cartridges, chances are that you'll need to replace the color cartridge before it’s truly empty, since some colors wind up being used more than others. This is where inkjets which use four, five, or six cartridges offer better economy.

The printer's fastest mode is black-and-white draft. Output in this configuration is speedy—we printed out 10 pages in just a few seconds. That said, text quality in draft mode leans more toward dark gray than black and is clearly softer looking than laser printer output.

Contrast and crispness both improve by bumping up print quality to "normal" or "best" modes, but with it comes a significant hit in speed. In fact, the same 10 pages that printed in mere seconds in draft mode took nearly 10 minutes to complete in best mode.

Similarly, printing color photos in best mode on glossy paper is not a project for someone short on time. A full-page borderless print on letter-sized paper takes between four and five minutes for a single page.

Photo output in best mode is very good, despite its slow speed. The printer yields vivid photos with a slight reddish-purple shift, but certainly impressive enough to satisfy all but professional photography applications.

Another surprising and welcome feature for a printer at this price is automatic duplexing, or two-sided printing. Activated through the print driver, the X7675 can automatically print on both sides of a page. It does this by completing one side, and then drawing it back into the printer to complete the other side, before spitting it into the output tray.

Copy and Scan

Copy and scan modes will read documents from the automatic document feeder, the flatbed or both. Unfortunately the ADF does not duplex, which would really make the automatic print duplexer especially useful. As it is, you have to manually flip the input stack to send both sides through the ADF.

With optical support up to 600 x 1,200 DPI, scan quality is excellent, whether sent directly to the printer (in copy mode), to a PC or saved to a file on an inserted memory card. The slow speed of the printer is a bottleneck in the copy process, but output itself will please.

You can configure your PC to launch specified applications when triggering a scan from the printer console. In addition, Lexmark includes a TWAIN driver so that you can initiate and import scans from most graphics applications, like Photoshop.

Performing high-resolution scans across a wireless link is noticeably slower than, say, a USB 2.0 connection, but still very usable, not to mention convenient.

Walk-up Scan and Print

Because the X7675 supports a wide variety of memory cards, you can perform many functions without a PC at all. Insert a memory card or USB stick with photos and documents, and the Lexmark will let you choose files to print.

You can navigate photos displayed on the LCD, and even apply some basic editing effects like brightness, contrast, and rotation. Printing photos directly from a memory card (or PictBridge-capable camera) removes a lot of control over the process, but it’s a convenient way to quickly produce prints that look pretty good.

Just the Fax

For people who still need to send or receive faxes, the X7675 includes a 33.6kbps modem, and it can send faxes from the 25-page ADF. For incoming faxes you can view on-screen caller ID and block junk faxes. The printer's control panel includes a keypad for dialing and supports up to 99 speed dial entries.

Consumables Math

Each of the X7675 two cartridges costs about $25 apiece. The black cartridge is rated at just over 500 pages, while the color can produce just over 300. This equates to about five cents per page for black output—on the higher side compared to, say, an economical laser jet.

On the other hand, the X7675 itself is practically a bargain for its feature set. You won't find many printers at its street price with wireless networking, a high quality scanner and automatic print duplexing.

That said, a business looking for high-volume monochrome output should probably consider an entry-level laser AIO. For light duty output plus high-quality borderless color, the Lexmark represents a good value considering its plethora of supporting features.

Aaron Weiss a technology writer, screenwriter and Web development consultant who spends his free time stacking wood for the winter in Upstate New York. His Web site is: bordella.com

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This article was originally published on April 02, 2009
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