Lexmark C534dn

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Lexmark C534dn
  • Lexmark C534dn
  • Lexmark C534dn
  • Lexmark C534dn

Pros

  • ID and PIN numbers for added security option.

Cons

  • Can't print Microsoft documents from USB key

Bottom Line

Overall, the C534dn produces good quality prints, especially for colour documents. End users should find it easy to use, while IT managers will appreciate the user restrictions and security options that are on offer.

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Lexmark's C534dn is a colour laser printer that can be connected either directly to a computer using USB or to a network using its built-in 10/100 Ethernet controller. It's aimed directly at the business market and has many nifty print and management features that can come in handy, particularly in offices where a lot of colour printing is required.

The C534dn has a duty cycle of 100,000 pages per month and uses four toners to create its colour output: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. High yield versions of these toners cost $278 for the black (8000 pages yield at 15 per cent page coverage) and $270 for each colour (5000-page yield).

A well laid-out control panel with a four-line LCD display and a clear and logical printer driver make the C534dn very easy to use; while IT managers can restrict user access by assigning users IDs and PIN numbers. User IDs can be used to determine who has permission to print in colour. Those without proper permissions will only be able to print in black and white. Likewise, monochrome drivers can be installed on computers to restrict colour printing.

PIN numbers can be used to print documents securely. For example, if a print job is sent to the printer from an upstairs cubicle, the document won't print until the user comes down to enter their PIN number. The PIN can be created in the printer driver. Entering the wrong PIN number more than three times will delete the pending document.

As for speed, we printed out mainly text documents sprinkled with colour highlights, which the printer was able to produce at a rate of seven pages per second. The "normal" print mode produces rich black text, as does the "draft" mode. For economy, the density of the toner can be adjusted manually, and when we reduced the density, the printer produced much lighter output that was still sharp and easy on the eyes. Photos and graphics can be printed out using the printer's 4800dpi resolution -- Lexmark says the dot size and shape is adjusted in order to boost the print quality of images -- and the results we obtained are among the sharpest we've seen from a colour laser printer. It's an ideal unit for printing out copies of colour presentations and brochures. A full-page photo printed out in 1min 37sec.

For printing on both sides of the paper, the printer comes with a built-in duplex unit. It takes slightly longer to complete a duplex print job -- about 30 seconds more than a non-duplex job.

A USB port resides on the control panel of the printer, which allows for easy (and faster) printing of photos and PDF files -- but not Microsoft documents -- from a USB key. Once plugged in, files can be browsed according to file name and selected for printing. If the printer is in the middle of a print job, prints initiated from a USB key will simply be added to the queue. It took just 49 seconds for a photo to print from a USB key.

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