A multifunction for small offices
The X9575 sits at the top of Lexmark's business-focused Professional series of inkjet multifunctions. The unit has a range of connection options and a number of PC-less features that make it a suitable addition to the home or small office. However, its printing speeds and photo quality may deter some.
- Good connectivity, PC-less features, Wi-Fi
- Poor image quality, slow print speeds
The Lexmark X9575 provides some valuable and well-implemented features. However, print speeds and quality detract from this multifunction’s overall appeal.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
Looking like a simplified version of HP's Officejet Pro L7380 , the X9575 combines a business build with homely looks. Its connectivity means business though — USB, Ethernet and 802.11g Wi-Fi are present, along with two RJ-12 jacks for fax functions. It also has an automatic duplexing feature, allowing businesses to save money through double-sided printing.
The front of the multifunction features a simple control panel with a colour LCD for viewing photos and navigating the menu. This is accompanied by a PictBridge port for direct printing and a multi-card reader that supports SD, MemoryStick, xD, MMC, CompactFlash and MicroDrive cards.
The unit can not only to print photos from a media card, but also Word documents and PDFs. Although this is a little slow at times, it's a great feature for a business-focused printer to have. Scanning can be initiated from the device, with users able to choose which computer to scan to. The X9575 will automatically determine the nominated computer's scanning software and give the user options to save the results as a straight image, editable document or email attachment.
Like the HP Officejet J6480 All-in-One , the X9575's Wi-Fi connection is quite versatile. Users can initiate an ad-hoc connection directly between the multifunction and a computer, or connect the multifunction to a wireless network for sharing with multiple computers. Unlike the J6480, this is mainly done through PC software rather than from the multifunction's control panel.
We were surprised to find that the X9575 has PIN-authorised scanning built in. This is something still making its way into enterprise-grade laser multifunctions and printers. It's available when using the X9575 through Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections. It allows users to nominate an individual PIN before they can initiate scanning to their computer, a great security feature. Printing is where the X9575 suffers a little. Speeds are largely uninspiring, with standard text documents printed at 15.8 pages per minute at draft quality, slowing to 9.4ppm at normal quality settings. Colour printing speeds are worse, with draft graphical documents printing at 8.8ppm and normal quality documents printing at a measly 2ppm. These speeds are inadequate for a business machine, and are easily beaten by even the cheapest desktop printers.
The X9575 can produce reasonable documents for business purposes. Documents didn't have laser-quality text like the Officejet Pro L7380 , but neither were they as messy documents printed by HP's Photosmart inkjets. Adding graphics and highlights to the documents doesn't impact on quality. Colour is largely consistent, but not entirely accurate; it's adequate for business use. Quality gradation is definitely noticeable, with draft documents appearing much more faded than normal or best quality documents.
Photo printing is available on the X9575, but it doesn't seem to have been a priority for Lexmark. Colours are over-exaggerated with no fine detail or defined blacks, and gradients proved a problem, introducing background noise to photos. Vertical banding is also evident, particularly in standard 4x6in photos. While the quality of the photos may be passable for occasional use at home or at the office, photo enthusiasts won't be satisfied.
Scanning is passable, particularly document scanning. Our tests showed the X9575 produces a slightly darker image than the original photo, bringing out detail in lighter photos but sacrificing detail in low-contrast photos. The unit's 1200x4800dpi resolution is more than sufficient for OCR purposes. Lexmark's focus on high yield cartridges does wonders for the X9575's consumable efficiency: it runs at 14c per page. Given that business-grade inkjet multifunctions generally peak at 12-13c per page, the X9575 is quite impressive.
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