Lexmark CX310dn review: A cheaper laser printer

A laser printer that’s cheaper than you think

Lexmark’s catalog says this chunky office-style color laser printer costs £499, but dealers actually only charge about £130. By our reckoning, the original markup must have made the price of restaurant wine seem reasonable. Anyway, that makes it less than half the price of other all-in-one laser printers with sheet-fed scanners, such as Canon’s i-Sensys MF724Cdw and Dell’s H825cdw.

While it lacks Wi-Fi, this chunky printer is pretty fast and well equipped.

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So why is this a business-quality printer at a consumer-level price? One downside for home use is that it lacks Wi-Fi, so you’ll only be able to use it cabled directly to a PC or – via the Gigabit Ethernet port – to your router. Nor, unlike some all-in-one models, does it offer fax capability, although not many of us need that these days. Those features aside, it’s pretty well equipped, with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for the scanner, a 250-sheet paper tray, plus a single-sheet manual feed, and automatic duplex to print both sides of the paper, although scanning is one side at a time.

Lexmark claims a maximum print speed of 23 pages per minute (ppm). We hit 18.7ppm in mono and 11.9ppm in color, which is good for a budget laser printer, and much faster than inkjet versions, unless you pay £200 and over. Black text looked very crisp, and not only did color diagrams look nice and solid, but photos were OK, if a little dark in the shadows. The scanner digitized a 10-page document to our PC in just 23 seconds, and higher-resolution color scans were clear and accurate, though not as sharp as some.

Replacing the toner, inevitably, is an eye-watering expense, but it works out at about 2.1p per black-and-white page or 9.7p for color, which is cheaper than most laser printers. The supplied ‘starter’ cartridges are rated for a relatively generous 1,400 pages. Note, though, that users report the CX310dn will gradually run down the color refills even if you only use black, and won’t work if any color cartridge is empty, so don’t buy this if you really just need a mono printer.

SPECIFICATIONS

1200x1200dpi maximum print resolution • 250-sheet paper tray • Duplex • 600x600dpi maximum scan resolution • 50-sheet ADF • USB • Gigabit Ethernet • 470x444x558mm (HxWxD) • 28kg • One-year warranty

VERDICT:

If you want the lowest running costs and best photos, stick with an inkjet printer, but as a budget laser option this is a bit of a bargain

ALTERNATIVE:

Brother MFC-J5620DW

At this price the nearest alternative is an injket printer like this – not as fast but cheaper to run

8 Total Score
Lexmark CX310dn review: A cheaper laser printer

If you want the lowest running costs and best photos, stick with an inkjet printer, but as a budget laser option this is a bit of a bargain.

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