Given its gargantuan proportions, it isn’t surprising to find a powerful print engine under the hood, with the highest quoted print speeds in this group test.
Alas, in our tests the Lexmark proved more Fiat Panda than Bugatti Veyron. Its speed in the 50-page colour letter test was the best in this group test, and it was only three seconds off first place in the mono test. But for complex graphics and photographs, it slowed down considerably, coming last in our DTP and photo-montage tests.
In our quality tests, though, things look up for the C780n, with consistently high scores in all departments. Colours are realistic, gradients are smooth and even, and text quality is good, too.
What’s more, the C780n’s LCD screen menu and simple system make it a breeze to set up manually, and the built-in web server contains plenty of useful information. Staff can monitor toner levels and paper remotely, for example, and also configure it to send out email alerts based on certain trigger conditions.
The feature list doesn’t end there, either. The C780n can print on heavyweight paper, which means you could use it to produce your company’s business cards. And you can also print documents and images directly from a thumb drive using the USB port on the front, although it’s a disappointment that the price doesn’t include a duplexer.
If you can live with that, though, the Lexmark is otherwise one of the most cost-effective colour printers here. Despite its clear strengths, this printer’s relatively poor showing in the performance stakes will put it out of the running for many would-be purchasers. But if you don’t mind waiting for your prints, the Lexmark C780n has a lot to recommend it.
Top-notch print quality makes this a contender, but it isn’t fast