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Lexmark X560n

This well featured multifunction printer is designed to be the office workhorse. Does it meet with Simon Williams' approval? Read on to find out.

Price
£519

A good solid multifunction printer can save time and space in a workgroup, doubling as a photocopier and fax machine, as well as handling network printing and scanning. Lexmark's X560n is just such a workgroup device, big and well-featured and set to perform its tasks day in, day out.

The X560n weighs 40kg, so is definitely a two-person lift, and the printer section has a large enough footprint that the A4 flatbed scanner is hardly any wider. The scanner is fitted with a 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder.

Paper feeds from a 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom of the machine and although this is supplemented by an unusually high-capacity 150-sheet multipurpose tray which pulls down from the front, a main paper tray that can take only half a ream is going to need regular attention in a busy office. A 500-sheet second tray is available as an option, as is a duplexer a shame this isn't standard.

The control panel on the X560n is wide and busy. As well as a number pad for dialling fax numbers, there's a separate shortcut pad for regularly used destinations. A large, 85mm backlit, mono LCD display shows status information and menus, though the default display of toner levels is not as useful as Lexmark thinks. Menu navigation controls are directly in front of the display and at the right-hand end of the control panel are large green and red buttons, to start and stop a job.

Setting up and maintaining the multifunction printer is pretty straightforward. Fold down the front cover and there are four, combined drum and toner cartridges stacked one above the other, inside. It's always easier to maintain a device which integrates each drum and toner into a separate cartridge and in this case the cartridges slide easily in and locate positively, making maintenance very easy.

Bundled software provided with the X560n includes Abbyy FineReader Sprint OCR, as well as genuine Adobe Postscript Level 3 and emulated PCL 6. Lexmark provides a useful address book tool, which automatically gathers together fax and e-mail lists and can present them on the printer's display, so you can fax or e-mail directly from the machine.

The company has always had good network support for its printers, too, and you can access the control panel from any network PC, assuming you have the correct permissions.

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