capsule review

Lexmark C522n

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Epson Stylus R220 Photo Printer

    PCWorld Rating

    Unit delivered good performance at a low price. Toner cartridges are easy to replace. Supports both PCL and PostScript.

Lexmark C522n
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The Lexmark C522n gives small offices ample features for a budget price of $499. It supports both PCL and PostScript. The vertical paper path, with stacked toner cartridges that are easily accessed from a fold-down front door, gives the printer a small footprint.

The main paper drawer holds up to 250 sheets of plain paper, up to legal size. A slot on the front allows you to feed different media a single sheet at a time. For $299, you can add a 500-sheet paper drawer. You can't add a duplexer, however.

This laser printer provides good performance for the price. In our tests the C522n printed text at an above-average 14.3 ppm and color graphics at a healthy 3.8 ppm.

Text quality was good overall, though some letters looked shaved off at the top. Fine italics appeared spotty, but bold characters were distinct. Color graphics printed too light and grainy, but had good shadow detail. Glossy photos showed the same washed-out look and a dithering pattern.

At the time of this writing, Lexmark hadn't set the price for the C522n's replacement toner cartridges. Lexmark ships the printer with 1500-page starter cartridges.

Ample features and good performance make this model well suited for small offices, though print quality wasn't at the top of the heap.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Unit delivered good performance at a low price. Toner cartridges are easy to replace. Supports both PCL and PostScript.

    Pros

    • Good performance at a low price
    • Text quality was good overall

    Cons

    • Glossy photos looked washed out
    • Color graphics printed light and grainy
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