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Lexmark Z816 Color Jetprinter

At a Glance
  • Lexmark Z816 PHOTO INKJETPR 15/22PPM 48X12 USB

Lexmark Z816 Color Jetprinter
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The $100 Z816 printed text pages faster than any other inkjet we've tested recently, at 6.9 ppm. On the other hand, it printed color graphics at 0.9 ppm, slightly below the average of 1.2 ppm; and glossy photos took an unacceptable 6 minutes and 40 seconds each (recently tested inkjets averaged just under 4 minutes for photos). The Z816's delivered lackluster text quality: A slight saw-tooth pattern was visible along the edges of letters at all type sizes. Color graphics had a somewhat muted, foggy look, but with reasonably attractive detail and lighting. (When we used better-quality inkjet paper, color quality improved a lot, but text quality didn't change much.) Glossy gray-scale photos displayed some graininess and a slightly soft focus. Color glossies were the Z816's strong suit, with fine detail, smooth shading, and vibrant colors.

The Z816's case feels tougher than the cases on previous Lexmark inkjets, and the USB 2.0 port on the back is more conveniently situated.

Like its predecessors, the Z816 uses three ink cartridges--containing black, standard three-color, and photo inks--but holds only two at a time. As a result, you sometimes have to swap cartridges to match your print job. Using Lexmark's standard-capacity cartridges, the Z816 racked up the highest per-page ink costs of any printer we reviewed: 7.7 cents for black and 15.8 cents for color plus black. Lexmark's high-capacity cartridges significantly lowered the cost of printing: Page yield tests conducted for PC World by the Rochester Institute of Technology indicated that, with the high-capacity cartridges installed, a page of black cost an about-average 4.7 cents, while a page of color and black combined was 9.9 cents, well below the average of 13 cents.

The Z816 lags behind other printers in output quality, and has a steep cost per page with its standard cartridges, but it prints text fast and the unit itself is inexpensive.

Dan Littman

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At a Glance
  • Lexmark Z816 PHOTO INKJETPR 15/22PPM 48X12 USB

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