Lexmark's C734dn can cope with a busy office. The base capacity of 650 sheets can be expanded with two further 550-sheet trays and a high-capacity 2000-sheet feeder.
There's an integral duplex unit, and you can opt for a special media tray that supports narrow media. Output options don't match up, though, as the shallow 300-page bin in the top of the printer can't be expanded.
The Coverage Estimator tool analyses the pixels on each page and estimates how much of each toner was used to create it. The calculations are printed on an extra sheet at the end of each job.
There are plenty of consumables, with a toner cartridge and photoconductor combo for each colour. Lexmark's toner return program yields the best printing costs, but they're comparatively high: a mono A4 page will set you back 3c; full colour, 22c.
Initial running costs will be even higher as Lexmark ships the printer with ‘starter' cartridges. You get 256MB of memory included, and additional RAM is prohibitively expensive.
The print engine offers true 1200 x 1200dpi and the printer's driver defaults to an interpolated 4800dpi mode, which can be set back to 1200dpi. Lexmark delivers in the speed stakes, with a basic 28-page Word document produced in only 58 seconds.
Our 24-page DTP document with heavy-duty graphics and photos didn't faze the C734dn. It delivered at 27ppm using the Text/Photo and Photo driver modes.
Text was clean and sharp across a range of font sizes, and photos and graphics showed an impressive amount of detail, but it left a pink colour cast in lighter areas of our test prints. Running our colour performance chart confirmed our suspicions that Lexmark was being too generous with the magenta toner.
Grey shades using different mixes of cyan, magenta and yellow showed this all too clearly, which was at its worst when using the driver's Photo setting. With a price tag the right side of $1500, the C734dn is good value for a