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Lexmark X5470

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder HP Photosmart D7360 Inkjet Printer

    PCWorld Rating

    The inexpensive X5470 offers many features, including faxing and media slots; print quality is lackluster.

The Lexmark X5470 cuts some corners to achieve its exceptionally low $100 price tag (as of 10/25/06), but it still packs a remarkable set of features for the money. It has a 33.6-kilobits-per-second color fax capability and an automatic document feeder that can take ten pages at a time. The glass platen allows flatbed scans up to letter-size, but you can feed legal-size paper through the automatic document feeder.

The control panel lacks a color screen, instead sporting a less-expensive backlit two-line monochrome LCD. The buttons, which Lexmark has arranged logically enough around the LCD, include a numeric pad for fax dialing. The two media slots accept most digital camera memory cards, but you have no way to preview images without a color LCD. If you plan to work mostly from your PC, however, the lack of a color LCD is largely irrelevant. However, you can print a proof sheet, mark which images to print, and run it through the scanner. Image-enhancement options include red-eye removal and color effects. The PictBridge port lets you print directly from your digital camera. You can also print from a USB flash drive plugged into the PictBridge port; Lexmark doesn't offer a Bluetooth adapter.

The unit's single upright paper feeder at the rear holds up to 100 sheets. No paper-handling upgrades are available. Out of the box the X5470 uses four inks in two cartridges, including a pigment-based black ink for text printing. You can replace the black cartridge with one containing pigment-based light cyan, light magenta, and black inks for six-ink printing on photo paper.

In our print-quality tests using the standard cartridges, text printed darkly, but characters could have been crisper and we saw much horizontal banding. Line art suffered from fuzzy lines, gritty textures in closely spaced blocks, and some narrow banding. Photos that were printed with four inks on plain paper looked atrocious--a combination of overly visible dithering, fuzzy details, banding, and posterization effects. However, glossy photos that were printed using all six inks looked much better, if slightly grainy. They fell short of the best quality we saw from competing MFPs, though. Scan quality also was below par, but as a copier the X5470 did a decent job for an inkjet.

Against the stopwatch text printed relatively quickly, at 9.8 pages per minute. Plain-paper graphics arrived much more slowly, at 2.1 ppm; whereas on glossy letter-size paper, our sample photo trickled out in 94 seconds. A 100-dots-per-inch scan of our 4-by-5-inch test image emerged after a slow 10.2 seconds; photocopies averaged a tedious 1.9 ppm.

If you need a cheap combination of printer, scanner, fax, and copier for a home office in which speed and quality are of no concern, the Lexmark X5470 could be a good choice. But if you need to make a good impression, consider spending a little more money.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    The inexpensive X5470 offers many features, including faxing and media slots; print quality is lackluster.

    Pros

    • Low price
    • Built-in fax and automatic document feed

    Cons

    • Slow photo printing
    • Mediocre overall print quality
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