Lexmark X7170

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Lexmark X7170

Pros

  • Solid software, fast text printing

Cons

  • Balance not quite right, poor copy quality

Bottom Line

This package distinguishes itself by offering a good software suite that would benefit anyone who has not had much experience with a multi-function device. It is highly recommended for the small office, although for photo printing you may have to tinker with the colour balance of your photos first to get good results.

Would you buy this?

The X7170 looks and feels like it belongs in an office environment, and its features are appropriate for a small office that requires printing, scanning, photocopying and faxing capabilities. It's solidly built, with a curved paper path for the front loading paper tray, and it relies on a two-cartridge ink system to produce its output. It also has a PictBridge port, which enables photos to be printed directly from a camera that supports this interface.

Like the Lexmark P6250, this printer's photo output was a little too yellow during our tests. You may have to adjust your photo's colour balance before printing. Its text printing was also not as sharp as some of its counterparts on the highest quality setting, although it was able to finish a full page of text in this mode in only 32 seconds. To save time and ink, the quick print mode can be used, which will produce slightly muddy, yet easily readable text for proofing. Conveniently, the printer driver defaults to printing pages in reverse order, and it also allows for manual two-sided printing.

Colour scanning provided some good results in our tests, and our glossy photos scanned in with accurate detail and colour tones. Greyscale input was adequate too, but slightly lacking in detail. A4-size scans in either colour or greyscale did not take more than 28 seconds to complete. OCR software is provided with this unite Lexmark, and its interface allows you to directly compare the scanned text to the original document side-by-side to find any errors.

Copies can be made via the flatbed or the automatic document feeder. Copy quality was disappointing, though, with reproduced photos lacking some detail and displaying saturated colours. Photocopies of text were also slightly muddy, but readable.

The X7170 has a well designed console and a two-line LCD shows you the status of the machine and its settings. The supplied Lexmark Productivity Suite software provides a task-based interface for managing documents, scanning, printing, copying and faxing.

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