Lexmark color printer turns heads with quality

The Lexmark C750n finished printing a 30-page document in less than two minutes.

(GCN Photo by Henrik G. DeGyor)

The Lexmark C750n color network printer produces the best color and monochrome output the GCN Lab has seen to date.

For that reason alone, the C750n would earn an exceptionally high grade. But it also costs less than two of the six network printers the lab recently evaluated, including the Lexmark W820n. That makes the C750n a truly great value for workgroups.

Setup was a breeze. Even under aging Microsoft Windows 98, the drivers loaded automatically without any intervention when we connected the printer via a Universal Serial Bus cable. Attaching the system to the lab network required only one more step.

Fast printing

The printer took two minutes and 39 seconds to run from a cold start. Once ready, however, it was speedy. A 30-page text document emerged in one minute, 48 seconds. Another 30-page document with colorful images, photographs and charts took five minutes, 25 seconds.

For a monochrome printer, that's a bit slow, but it's above average for a color system.

The 350-MHz processor and 128M of RAM churned through complex images, averaging about 18 seconds to print the first page. Some printers work faster, but none come close to the C750n's output quality.
Input options were configurable to workgroup size. Lexmark sent the full contingent of trays for a whopping 3,900-sheet capacity. Even without extras it had a respectable 600-sheet capacity.

Toner lasts about 60,000 pages, perfectly adequate for midsized offices. And each ink color can be replaced separately as it becomes depleted.

The paper tray slanted back at a 30-degree angle, as did the adjustable rear paper holder. New reams of paper slid into place without needing to be lined up as in most standard rectangular trays. We never saw a jam in 3,000 prints, even with different bond weights and sizes.

A large air vent at the back meant the printer couldn't be flush against a wall. But it remained cool even after long use, which should extend the life of the heat-vulnerable circuit board.

Letters looked solid and legible under a magnifying glass. Some graphics almost resembled 35mm photographs, depending on the quality of the source images. The C750n could even render text over a photograph perfectly, almost as if the two were applied in separate layers.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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