capsule review

Lexmark X422

At a Glance
  • Lexmark X422 MFP 22PPM 128MB

Lexmark X422
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The $1479 Lexmark X422 offers an ethernet connection and is one of three laser MFPs we tested this month that include an automatic duplexer. In addition to faxing, it allows you to send and receive e-mail messages with attachments or Web links.

The X422 has speeds nearly identical to those of its doppelgänger, the IBM Infoprint 1410 (Lexmark manufactures both printers), and both models beat their competitors on almost every front. The X422 shot out text documents at 16.9 ppm and grayscale graphics at 8.0 ppm. It copied a text document at a quick 6.0 ppm (the only model to make copies faster was the Sharp AL-1661CS, at 6.2 ppm). The X422 also scanned a 4-by-5-inch color photo at 100 dpi in just 19 seconds, versus the average of 26 seconds.

The fast speeds didn't bring poor results, either. Text looked dark and sharp, and graphics appeared better than those produced by other MFPs. Though graphics printouts from the X422 exhibited slight banding, our test photograph showed good details. Narrow parallel lines in our line art test document printed distinctly. Copies of a grayscale photo, on the other hand, looked extremely dark, and as a result retained little of the detail of the original. Copies of a text document were comparable in quality to those made by other laser MFPs, almost all of which earned a score of Very Good.

The pared-down front panel includes buttons for copying, faxing, sending e-mail, and printing, as well as a number pad for entering fax numbers. Strangely, the X422 lacks a scan button on the console. To scan our color photo, we had to use a PC and go through Windows XP's scanning driver. While its color scan quality earned a score of Good, its grayscale scans were more impressive--enough to merit a mark of Very Good. But the Brother MFC-8840DN, which costs less than half as much, received a Very Good score for its color scans, and an Outstanding rating for its grayscale scans.

With the automatic document feeder, the X422 stands 31 inches tall, so make sure to give it a lot of headroom. Adding an optional paper tray would make it even taller; a 500-sheet tray costs $103 and boosts paper capacity to the maximum of 850 sheets, and a 250-sheet tray costs $87. The X422 comes with 128MB of memory, but accommodates up to 384MB.

Flexible paper-handling features and speedy print speeds make the X422 well suited to busy offices that don't need a full-featured scanner.

Lisa Cekan

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At a Glance
  • Lexmark X422 MFP 22PPM 128MB

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