Lexmark C530dn Duplex Color Printer Review

Top of the line double-sided printing in color is made available through the Lexmark C530dn. This beautifully designed printer is priced at $499.

Other than a one-hundred manual tray that folds out from its front, from it two-hundred fifty sheet main paper drawer, the C530dn has no other options for handling paper. You will have to trade up for that, to the C532dn or the C534dn, pegged at $699 and $999 respectively. Both have and optional five hundred sheet drawer. This high price for additional options will force some small businesses and home offices to look elsewhere for a good but affordable printer.

The most affordable member of the printer family is the C500n (pegged at $349), which is also a GDI-based kind of printer. The C530dn is not like the C500n as it sports some key differences. The C530dn can render, though not in your own computer, pages. It even allows driver installation for PCL and also PostScript emulation. The latter is for the detailed repro of both PDF and PostScript documents. These features could be what specialists, like those who need prepress page layouts, want.

Printer speed of the Lexmark C530dn was at 20.7 pagers in one minute, which is the average rundown speed for recent color printers. Colored photos came out almost at 3.6 ppm on plain paper. On glossy paper, and at the best quality setting, the page rate slid down to 1.0 ppm. This rate of speed is reasonable and you can get a lot of printing work and good speed out of this machine.

Examined closely, the texts in the printouts were solid, crisp. No signs of banding, except for some grainy parts in the line art we printed as sample. Even though the grayscale image lost some detail in the shadows, it was still lifelike and sharp. Some dithering problems could be seen on the plain paper printout, but still, the bright colors that looked natural offsets this. There were also some dithering patterns in the glossy printouts, even in the highlights.

Changing toner cartridges are a snap. You just access the stack of cartridges by folding down the printer’s front. This ease is because of the upright-oriented design of the Lexmark C530dn. It removes the difficult by placing compartments in easy to access areas.

The consumable costs are acceptable. The cartridges that come with the printer can churn out a thousand and five hundred pages. Of course, replacements with higher capacities would be more worth it. The black cartridge that could churn out four thousand pages is pegged at $105. The 3 three thousand page color cartridges are at $119 each.

You may also be replacing the photoconductor units routinely, but then this is covered in the printer’s one year warranty. So when you compute the price of the replacement waste toner packs (that’s $8 for every thirty thousand pages), you get a cost per page of 2.7 cents for every black and white page, and 14.6 cents for every color page. This is for the first year you use the printer.

The Lexmark C530dn is perfect for small offices that require high grade color printouts. It can give you double sided printing which saves on paper. This would offset, to some extent, the costs of colored printing, and make standard paper trays continue to be used.

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