Lexmark E360dn is too expensive to be a realistic printing choice

Rating
Overall:

Impressive print quality, a good turn of speed and decent features, but it simply costs too much to own.

Performance:
6
Features & Design:
5
Value for money:
3
Price
Price: $411
> Pricing info

Lexmark has left no stone unturned with its submission to this business mono printer Labs. Its E360dn boasts every feature you could ask for in a laser, from an automatic duplex module to networking, and it marries its broad feature set with the fastest print speeds of all the printers here.

This E360dn is rated at a stonking 38ppm and, although it doesn't quite deliver on those claims with our measured maximum of 36ppm and a slower 31ppm in our Excel spreadsheet test, it's still the fastest in this month's group.

And it backs that up with a decent maximum monthly duty cycle of 80,000 pages.

It isn't just a speed demon, either. The quality of the output it manages to lay down on standard paper at that speed is second to none.

Photographs and graphics, which most lasers still struggle with, were delivered with an accomplished swagger no other laser printer in the group can match.

They were clean, benefiting from smooth dithering, good contrast and, vitally, no evidence of banding at all.

In the text and black assessment, it couldn't quite match the excellence of the Oki B440dn, but it's far from poor. There were hardly any of the satellite splatters that afflict so many laser printers' output and which lend text a slightly soft, fuzzy look.

And you have to reduce font sizes to minuscule sizes before this printer's ability to render characters in their entirety begins to suffer.

But much of the good work is undermined by its running costs. Even if you replace the rather mean 3500-page starter cartridge with the high-yield 9000-page unit, the cost of $265 means the E360dn ends up being relatively expensive to run. That translates to a cost of $1206 after 30,000 pages, and $1736 after 50,000 pages. A sobering thought.

This means that, despite a stellar performance in our quality and speed tests, we can't recommend the E360dn this month.

Unless you can find the Lexmark's consumables at a more attractive price, we'd recommend the slightly inferior quality and speed of the Kyocera over the E360dn - purely because it's so much cheaper to own.

 
 

This Review appeared in the September, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

See more about:  lexmark  |  e360dn  |  printer  |  laserjet  |  business  |  printers  |  laser  |  business
 
 

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