At a Glance
If your office printer gets a heavy workout, you might want to look long and hard at the Lexmark T632n. It offers fleet printing and lots of paper capacity; but its $1500 price is hefty, and its print quality is subpar.
If your workgroup prints reams of draft copies, you'll appreciate the T632n's consumables costs: Per-page costs can be remarkably low if you buy the largest-capacity toner cartridge. For $355 you can print 32,000 pages (as rated by Lexmark and calculated at 5 percent coverage per page); that price includes a drum mechanism, since the toner and drum make up a single, replaceable unit.
The T632n has a 500-sheet main paper drawer in its base, and it accommodates 500 sheets in its output bin up top. A fold-down tray at the front lets you feed another 100 sheets; more typically, you'll use this to feed envelopes (up to ten at a time) or other special media. Of course, if you're printing in really large volumes, this will hardly be sufficient. The T632n supports numerous paper-handling options: You can up the paper capacity to 4100 sheets; Lexmark also offers a duplexer, an envelope feeder that takes up to 100 envelopes, and a stapling finisher. A second 500-sheet paper drawer costs $276, while a 2000-sheet drawer will set you back $881.
In the lab, the T632n zipped through our tests, outputting text at 19.5 pages per minute, and graphics at 11.4 ppm--the fastest times posted by any printer in our current crop of workgroup lasers. Unfortunately, the Lexmark's image quality was among the worst we saw in this group, making it tough to recommend. Everyday text documents in 12-point type looked passable, but the T632n mangled 6-point type. Jagged edges were very obvious. Line art showed severe horizontal banding and fading, as well as some unusual vertical lines. In addition, we saw significant horizontal banding and some vertical banding in our photo sample, which was further marred by random dot patterns and overall blotchiness.
A small, bundled poster showed us how to set up the printer. A printed Quick Reference leaflet, a What's New guide, and a Setup Guide made installing the Lexmark on the network in our lab relatively straightforward; and we easily verified all the settings from the control panel. The software CD-ROM contains a comprehensive user's reference in PDF format, and we found an exhaustive Technical Reference on Lexmark's Web site. Lexmark provides drivers for a wide range of operating systems and includes useful extras such as account tracking, proof printing, confidential printing, and a network printer management tool.
The Lexmark T632n has high speed and low per-page costs going for it, but its poor print quality is a deal-breaker.
Print rated 40 ppm, 1200-by-1200-dpi maximum resolution; Standard 64MB of RAM, 600 sheets input, 500 output; USB 2.0 and Ethernet ports. One-year warranty, 12-hour weekday and 6-hour Saturday toll-call phone support..