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Lexmark E350d

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Lexmark E350d is very compact for a mono laser printer, measuring just 14 inches wide by 15.6 inches deep by 10.2 inches tall. It's not that heavy, either, weighing in at a mere 25 pounds, so it's not too difficult to move. The front mounted control panel is simple, with just a two line text LCD, a Cancel button, and five buttons to navigate the on screen Menu.

The Menu is basic, owing to the no frills function of the printer, with easy and intuitive navigation. Both the E352dn and the E450dn use the same body. All three models in this series come with a 250 sheet paper drawer, as well as a single sheet manual feed slot. The paper drawer has adjustable paper guides that accommodate up to legal size paper, though doing so will cause the drawer to jut out from the rear of the printer.

Lexmark thoughtfully includes a dust cover for just this scenario it covers the extended portion of the paper tray to keep dust out and also to prevent the tray from being shoved forward from the rear. The top mounted output tray can hold up to 150 sheets. In the rear of the printer is a single sheet output, a great option for media that may curl and jam when heated. You may opt for an additional 550 sheet drawer, bringing the maximum input capacity to 800 pages.

One of the main differences between the models is the size of the included toner cartridge. The E350d ships with a 1,500 page cartridge, the E352dn ships with a 3,000 page cartridge, and the E450dn ships with a 6,000 page cartridge. The E350d and E352dn offer the same toner replacement options a $157, 3,500 page cartridge and a $267, 9,000 page cartridge.

Both cartridges also are available at a discount under Lexmark's return cartridge program. Users promise to use the toner cartridge only once (you can refill toner cartridges yourself using commercially available kits, but printer vendors insist that this reduces the quality of the prints) and to return the spent cartridge to Lexmark. Under this program, the 3,500 page unit costs $132 and the 9,000 page unit costs $242.

Replacement cartridge size options for the E450dn are 6,000 pages ($166, or $141 with the discount) and 11,000 pages ($239, or $214 with the discount). For the lowest cost per page, you should use the high capacity cartridges. In the case of the E350d, the per page cost using the 9,000 page cartridge (regular price) is about 3 cents a decent, but not particularly impressive price, for a personal laser printer.

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