- Quick text printing
- Print quality a little lacking
A reasonable photo all-in-one that really shows its strength with speedy text printing. A decent alternative if you need office functions as a backup on your photo setup.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
Lexmark's new X8350 is a solid entry into the all-in-one photo printing category. Offering extremely quick text printing, with average photo printing at an affordable price it will fit well into most people's home photography setups.
The text printing speed is what really stood out for us, managing a very healthy 17 pages per minute on economy settings. For a printer with a focus on photographs this is an outstanding result as most achieve below 10. Unfortunately we weren't entirely happy with the quality of these prints. Text had small sections missing in some places, and there was a noticeable bending across certain horizontal sections. It wasn't deal breaking by any means, especially considering that was on economy mode, but it wasn't of the same quality as some other models we've used recently. Still, if you need speedy text to back up your photo printing then this might be the model for you.
Sadly, our photo prints suffered similar degradations in quality. When studied by themselves they came across as reasonably crisp and sharp, but when placed next to photos from rival models flaws quickly became evident. The biggest of these was a strong undersaturation, making our pictures look almost as if they had been run through a yellow filter. It had the biggest impact on skin tones, making them look completely unrealistic and almost drawn in, but all of our pictures were noticeably brighter than those produced by other brands. There was also a little blurring of edges but this was only evident when we looked extremely hard. Overall the photographs will satisfy the average user, but don't compare to some of the offerings by Canon or Epson.
Print speed was similarly mediocre. We printed a five by seven inch shot in about two and a half minutes, which is right on the average. Scanning a full page colour shot on the other hand took a hefty three minutes at the highest setting, which is decidedly sluggish. We found the tiny 100 page paper tray to be grossly inadequate. Most models in this category offer 250 page storage, if not more, and often room for an even larger insert. 100 pages will severely limit people wanting to use this as a backup in a small office or similar situation.
Aesthetically the X8350 won't be winning any awards either. Whilst it does have a certain modern office look going for it, it doesn't have the attractive, curved design many of its competitors have. Its footprint is large, taking up a good chunk of desk space, however we did find the controls to be reasonably intuitive. There is also support for all the major types of flash memory, but unfortunately no Bluetooth or infra-red connectivity, which means there is no option to connect up your mobile phone directly.
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