Price (RRP): $249
Reviewer: Matt Robinson
Lexmark’s X5470 offers great value for money, combining all four bases of print, copy, scan and fax into an attractively designed unit. It’s let down somewhat by a tendency to have the paper stick if the tray is relatively full, but that’s a problem that’s rather easily avoided most of the time.
The X5470 stands out from the multifunction pack the moment you unpack it; while it’s no Mona Lisa, it’s clear that Lexmark’s designers have still spent a little more time than most in making the X5470 somewhat aesthetically pleasing, with slim lines and lots of white plastic, which is at least a bit more interesting than the traditional dull black/grey print bodies that have been the norm in the printer world.
It’s a four-in-one multifunction, covering printing in colour and black-and-white, as well as scanning, copying and faxing. It’ll also cover your photo printing needs, although you’ll need to swap out the colour cartridge for the optional photo one for best results.
The X5470 uses only a three-cartridge system, which may suit you if you like the simplicity of that kind of arrangement, although of course it can be galling if your colour cartridge only runs out of magenta, as you’ve got to replace the whole thing.
Installation of the X5470 is a simple menu-driven process from the supplied software CD, which also includes Lexmark’s Imaging Studio package, a simple but effective icon-driven way to access all of the printer’s features, as well as simple photo editing and management tools.
One nice touch that’s worth highlighting with the X5470 is that it’s one of very few inexpensive multifunction printers that does come with a USB cable in the box, so you won’t have to either dig one up or pay extra when buying the printer.
The X5470 can also get printer data direct from Pictbridge-compatible cameras, and comes with media card slots for Compact Flash, SD/MMC, Memory Stick and xD Picture cards, although there’s no embedded screen from which to make your print selections.
Print performance of the Lexmark had its upsides and downsides. On the upside, black print quality was excellent for an inkjet, and quite speedy too, and even with only a colour cartridge installed colour and photo quality was quite good for a printer in this price range. Likewise, scanning speed was good and quality (for a 1200dpi scanner) was quite acceptable.
Our issues with the X5470 revolved around its printer feed mechanism. Despite having a very simple printer feed – paper is slotted into the reclining tray at the top, where it moves down in a simple motion to feed out of the front of the printer body – the X5470 had a marked tendency towards paper jams, especially if there was a generous amount of paper in the feed tray to begin with, or more than a couple of sheets of heavy stock or photo paper present. Cutting down the amount of paper removed the problem altogether, but that’s not an entirely ideal solution, as it means additional trips to the printer if you’re a heavy print user.
The X5470 is an attractive looking printer with an attractive set of features at an attractive price point. That should make it an attractive prospect for most small home offices and home users.