capsule review

Lexmark P4350

At a Glance
  • Lexmark P4350 All-In-One Inkjet Printer (22 PPm, 4800x1200 DPI, Color, PC/Mac)

    PCWorld Rating

    This unit is affordably priced and has good text print speeds, but has a tiny screen and limited paper handling.

Lexmark P4350
Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

The Lexmark P4350 is a competitively priced bargain model for everyday home use when top quality and performance aren't a priority.

Lexmark's P4350 is similar to the company's more expensive P6250, a former PC World Best Buy, but it has a smaller 1.7-inch LCD. Like the P6250, its media slots, which sit behind a clear fold-down panel, can read all the major formats. Its direct-print port lets you print straight from a PictBridge-compatible digital camera, but it doesn't support other USB devices such as flash drives.

The P4350 prints with six inks when you install its two standard cartridges: a tricolor cartridge containing dye-based inks and a photo cartridge containing pigment-based light cyan, light magenta, and black inks. If you're printing only text documents, you can save money by installing an optional high-capacity pigment-black cartridge. Under the cover sits a slot for storing a partially used cartridge, but swapping cartridges frequently can be a pain.

Text printing was a speedy 7.3 pages per minute, while color graphics emerged at a relatively pedestrian 1.3 ppm. Sadly, none of the plain-paper prints looked good. Text appeared to cast a light shadow, while thin bands were quite visible through large characters. Our line-art test showed lots of banding, apparently due to both poor alignment of alternate head sweeps and difficulty in placing ink drops precisely on the paper. Colors that were photo-printed on plain paper looked a little washed out and suffered from narrow horizontal banding, especially in the darkest areas.

On letter-size glossy paper, the P4350 printed our test photo in 1 minute,41 seconds--an improvement over the P6250 but slower than the records set by our chart topping multifunction printers. However, the six inks produced good-looking, detailed photo prints. It's only when we compared the P4350's photos to the other units that we noted that the tones were a little browner. When looking closely, we saw signs of excessive software-based sharpening, such as halos around some edges.

The quality of both scans and copies was lackluster, with a 100-dots-per-inch scan of our 4-by-5 composite proving particularly problematic. The P4350's scan speed was about strong, and the unit took only 16 seconds on average (just a few seconds less than the best) to copy a letter-size document.

The economically priced Lexmark P4350 lacks speed and sophistication, but it's easy to use and produces nice photo prints.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This unit is affordably priced and has good text print speeds, but has a tiny screen and limited paper handling.

    Pros

    • Economically priced
    • Direct print (PictBridge) port

    Cons

    • Limited paper handling
    • Slow color graphics output
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