Lexmark X9575 Professional multifunction printer

Lexmark X9575 Professional multifunction printer

The Lexmark X9575 Professional is a color inkjet multifunction printer packed with business-centric features--including integrated Wi-Fi. However, while it outshines other models in the same price range (including the near-identical Dell 968w), its costly inks and design flaws might frustrate busier offices.

The X9575 Professional performed reasonably well in our tests, posting an above-average rate of 9.9 pages per minute (ppm) in printing text and a below-average rate of 2 ppm in printing color graphics. Text samples looked a little fuzzy but nicely black. Color images appeared somewhat grainy on plain paper but melted into smoothness on Lexmark's own photo paper. Scan quality was good, though a little dark; copies looked a bit thicker and fuzzier, but were still very good.

Better aspects of the design include a control panel with clearly labeled buttons and a 2.4-inch, tiltable color LCD with understandable menu lines and messages. Other thoughtful touches include side handles to make the MFP easier to lift, and an obvious handhold on the front for lifting the scanner unit to access the ink cartridges. Even the wireless installation is easy, thanks to thorough documentation and a highly automated procedure.

A printer at heart, the X9575 Professional should handle paper better than anything else--but it doesn't. The standard automatic duplexer (for two-sided printing) and 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) are great. The 150-sheet input tray feels flimsy, and its guides and markings are hard to see. (A second 150-sheet input tray costs US$80.) The input tray's lid is also the 50-sheet output tray. The pull-out extension for catching paper constantly gets in the way: You have to close it to load paper, and it pushes against the input tray when it's stretched to fit legal-size paper. And the single-sheet feeder for thicker media doesn't work well--my photo paper consistently skewed.

The other problem with the X9575 Professional is its expensive inks. Even the high-yield, 485-page black cartridge costs $25, or 5.2 cents per page, while each high-yield, 500-page color cartridge costs $30, or 6 cents per page. Such prices will strain the budgets of higher-volume users.

Lexmark has some catching up to do in the quality department. In our recent reliability and service survey, the reliability of the company's products rated worse than average, while its service managed an average rating.

Small businesses and home offices looking for a truly versatile multifunction printer will find a good candidate in the X9575 Professional. Though it has its shortcomings, it's faster than the similarly configured (and cheaper) HP Officejet J6480 All-in-One, and it has more features than the Dell 968w does.

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