Lexmark X8350 would look most at home in an office. The boxy grey and black design isn’t attractive, but it offers several features to distinguish it from the crowd.
The most noticeable is the ADF on top, which can hold up to 50 sheets for easy copying or scanning. The X8350 copied our four-page colour test document in under six minutes (or four pages of mono text in four minutes, eight seconds), and the quality was good apart from some minor feathering on the text. Only the Dell Photo 964 offers similar ADF (and fax) capability.
The quality of the fax relies on the X8350’s scanner and, while usable, it isn’t one of the best. Text was scanned reasonably well, with a few minor artefacts visible in the image, but photos lacked realistic colours. Our skin-tone photo took on a green cast, while the level of detail was disappointing in the other scans.
This naturally affects the quality of copies too. In addition to taking over seven-and-a-half minutes to make three copies of our 6 x 4in photo, the strong yellow cast means you’ll prefer to make copies via a PC. Text quality was acceptable, but at 0.9ppm the X8350 was one of the slowest while using a photo cartridge; with black fitted, this rises to just 2.4ppm. Unfortunately, things don’t improve when printing. Overall, the X8350 was ranked lowest for quality. Once more, text was acceptable at Normal quality, but lacked sharpness. The A4 photomontage showed the same poor colour transitions as the P4350, and colour reproduction in our 6 x 4in tests was far from lifelike.
If this wasn’t bad enough, the X8350 was consistently slower than average while using a photo cartridge. For text, you’ll see 1.6ppm, although switch to black if you want 8.3ppm at Normal quality and 15ppm in Draft mode. If you only want to print text, it’s quicker than the Speed rating suggests, but in all other areas this is a sluggish all-in-one.
In use, the 2.5in LCD makes the front-panel controls simple to use and you can adjust settings quickly. The bundled software is adequate, but only black and tri-colour cartridges are included in the price. At $246, the X8350 is more expensive than the similar Dell 964. And when you consider the running costs of $1.77 per photo when printing intermittently, the Lexmark has neither the quality nor speed to justify the price. The Dell is cheaper and produces better results.
This Review appeared in the July, 2006 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing