So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
A flawed multifunction
- Wi-Fi, PIN-authorised scanning
- Slow printing speed, poor print quality
Wi-Fi connectivity is a bonus for small office networks, and this multifunction has some useful features that can be used without a PC. However, it suffers poor print quality and can be quite slow.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The X4875 is the entry-level inkjet multifunction in Lexmark's business-focused Professional series. The unit has most of the flaws of its more expensive counterparts. Although it does have some strong points, they don't really justify its price point.
For the most part, the X4875 is a stripped-down version of the X9575 Professional. It lacks fax, Ethernet, an automatic document feeder and the bulk associated with its bigger brother, but it still manages to provide auto-duplexing, Wi-Fi connectivity and a colour LCD for configuration and facilitating photo printing. The unit also has a PictBridge port and a multi-card reader that supports SD, MMC, xD, MemoryStick and CompactFlash.
Although the unit is much smaller than the X9575, its use of a sole rear paper tray limits the advantages of its smaller footprint. It is fairly sturdy, but the output tray seems slightly fragile.
The X4875 has a built in wireless adapter that can connect to an existing wireless network or form an ad-hoc connection with another device. The latter must be configured from a computer rather than from the printer's control panel.
The X4875 has some good PC-less features. Just like the X9575, it can print photos and documents from a memory card. Users can also initiate scanning from the device — nominating which computer they'd like to scan to — and can then determine whether they want an image, editable document or email attachment. A PIN-authorised scanning feature allows users to secure their scanning in an office network.
The X4875 will print 16.7 pages of text per minute using the draft setting. At normal quality this drops to 6.7 pages per minute, a rather slow result. Documents with graphical elements follow a similar pattern, with a decent 13.3ppm at draft quality, but a lousy 2ppm using normal quality. 4x6in photos will print in around 50sec, while A4 photos can take up to four minutes to print. In comparison with most inkjet multifunctions, the X4875's speeds are below par; this may be a deterrent for business users.
Printed text is clear and readable, with no messiness. With documents that have graphical elements there are some issues: text remains clear but background highlights introduce some noise to the document. Colour is consistent, with shades of magenta being the only real problem.
Testing the X4875's photo printing capabilities, we encountered the same quality issues we had with the X9575. Colours are exaggerated, flesh tones are unnaturally pale, and vertical banding is highly evident. However, this is not so surprising given that this is a business-focused multifunction.
Images scanned using the X4875 have good detail levels, but they are a little dark (obviously this impacts on its ability to reproduce detail in darker images). Scanning resolution is adequate for documents and most photo scanning needs.
Lexmark's use of high-yield cartridges ensures that the X4875 should run at about 14c per page. This makes the multifunction one of the cheapest on the market, and will benefit cost-conscious users.
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