capsule review

Lexmark T430dn

At a Glance
  • Lexmark T430dn

    PCWorld Rating

    Workgroups will appreciate this model's easy installation, handsome text, and fast output. Graphics looked harsh.

Lexmark T430dn
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Lexmark's T430dn is tailor-made for an executive's office or a small workgroup. It packs a decent set of features into a compact shape just right for a typical office credenza. It offers good performance and good documentation. But its graphics quality was subpar, unfortunately, making its somewhat high price harder to swallow.

The T430dn's standard configuration includes a 250-sheet letter/legal drawer and a nice bonus: an internal duplexer. If your workgroup exceeds a half-dozen people, you'll probably want to add the optional 250-sheet drawer and perhaps also the optional 500-sheet drawer, for a maximum input of 1000 pages (not counting the 100-page multipurpose tray). The standard 64MB of memory is upgradable to a maximum of 320MB. The 65,000-page monthly duty cycle should suffice to handle most small offices' needs. A 6000-page toner cartridge comes in the box, and a 12,000-page unit is available as well; versions returnable to Lexmark for recycling are less expensive.

This printer fared better with print speed than with output quality. Though the unit's tested 22.7-ppm text-printing speed fell noticeably short of its specified 32-ppm maximum engine speed, it was faster than most other workgroup printers we've tested recently. Text looked precise and legible, though a bit shiny, at all tested point sizes. The T430dn's 12.0-ppm graphics printing speed and 5.7-ppm photo printing speed were above average, too, but the images the T430dn produced looked dark, with harsh shadows and distracting moire patterns.

I liked the documentation. Both the printed manual and the CD-based manual were detailed, thorough, and nicely illustrated. The only labeling that reflected insufficient attention was on the toner cartridge: The printed Setup Guide adequately illustrated the cartridge's awkward insertion/removal method, but the cartridge itself lacked even a single directional arrow. The paper tray isn't hard to figure out, but it could use more and better internal markings.

The control panel is reasonably easy to use, though I found the design--which forces the Menu button into double duty as navigation button--confusing. To the company's credit, Lexmark groups the Select button with the Menu/navigation button so it's obvious that they're to be used together. You can print a Quick Reference guide and a menu map from the control panel--a nice convenience.

The Lexmark T430dn prints clean text quickly enough to satisfy a small workgroup, but its graphics output looks dark and unrealistic.

Melissa Riofrio

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Workgroups will appreciate this model's easy installation, handsome text, and fast output. Graphics looked harsh.

    Pros

    • Text looked precise and legible
    • Good performance and documentation

    Cons

    • Graphics output was dark and unrealistic
    • Graphics output was dark and unrealistic
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