No office should be without a fast laser printer. This huge beige box from Lexmark has a claimed print speed of 12ppm, but is it just overprice and underperforming?
So you've suddenly found yourself with £650 to spare and you've decided to treat your business or home office computer to a new sidekick - what do you do? Do you swap £200 for a good quality colour inkjet printer and then spend the remaining cash securing an amazing day for you and your kin at the Millennium Dome? Or do you just throw the whole wad at Lexmark and get its new Optra M410 laser printer in exchange?
Well, should you choose to do the latter, you'll find yourself in possession of a printing beast in beige. Everything seems to be designed to be dainty these days, so when a behemoth enters our Labs, it tends to get noticed.
But portly printers are built for speed, and Lexmark claims 12 pages per minute (ppm) for the M410 at full pelt. However, that rings a little hollow: our tough tests put the real-world print speed figure at nearer 9ppm, which is still fast, but considerably slower than the on-the-box boast.
What's more, the print quality was hardly in line with what we would expect of a laser model firing a 1,200dpi resolution. Text proved fine at all sizes, so you can print letters to your heart's content, but watch out for those graphics. If our (much cheaper) office printer churned out images as blotchy and stripey as this, we'd be looking for a replacement quick-sharp.
On the plus side, Lexmark has made sure that its new offspring can mature rapidly. The 4Mb of onboard memory can turn into 132Mb at the wave of your magic wallet, while those allergic to cable-spaghetti can use the optional infrared adapter.
Contact: Lexmark, 01628 481500
Minimum requirements: A PC or Mac with parallel/USB connector
A trip to the MIllennium Dome would be more appealing than one arresting day spent with the M410. It's fast, but there are cheaper, better laser printers on sale.
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