This three-colour inkjet printer presents an unusual dual option in that it is a model that not only conceivably competes with the photo kiosks for your casual printing needs but provides a unique ‘add-on’. It not only prints but also solves the problem of what to do with your image files once you’ve printed them by making a CD.
So the P450 can not only make borderless 10 x 15 cm inkjet prints but can also burn JPEG images to a CD or copy them to a USB flash drive, completely without the aid of a computer in the process.
A digital camera can be connected directly via a USB port for printing, or you can pop a memory card – CompactFlash Types I/II, MMC, Secure Digital, Mini SD, Memory Stick (MS, Pro, Duo, DuoPro), SmartMedia, xD-Picture Card – into the appropriate slot. Mobile phone/camera users can connect to the Lexmark via an optional Bluetooth adaptor. Plus, the P450 can be connected via an AV port to the home television or VCR/DVD recorder to replay or copy your pictures.
The Lexmark is compact, simple to drive and access to menu options is via a tilting 6.0 cm LCD screen.
The screen helps you to edit and clean up your pictures: images can be cropped or rotated; a section can be enlarged or reduced; red eye removal can be achieved with a single touch; an image can be enhanced or brightened, and colour effects can be added to pictures. The latter allows you to like transform images to B&W, sepia, an antique tone or antique grey.
Who needs a computer!
The resolution is 4800 x 1200 dpi and a pack of 25 sheets of 10 x 15 cm paper can be loaded into the input tray. This delivers some pretty nice prints but users needing A4 output will have to look elsewhere.
When copying to CD the 12 cm blank is easily loaded and will accept JPEG images. The device will not handle 8 cm DVDs as used in some current camcorders.
There is no provision for a computer connection so if you want to engage in general printing this model is not for you. But then again you won’t need computer skills to operate the Lexmark.
A special feature is Accu-feed which virtually eliminates paper jams, the bane of many a printer.
On test, each 10 x 15 cm image printed out in two minutes 37 seconds. Lexmark quotes a print time of 38 seconds!
Colours in the print were accurate and fully saturated, grey scales reproduced exactly, while text was sharp. This is one of the best results we seen from a printer at this price level.
Noticeable was the low level of noise while the printer was busy doing its stuff.
The perfect answer for the casual digital snapshooter: make your prints and label your CDs!
Standard inkjet cartridge costs: $36.99 (each will print 190 pages); a second, high-yield cartridge type is $49.99 (450 pages).
A 20 sheet pack of Lexmark 10 x 15 cm Premium photo paper is $9.95.