The Lexmark E460dn monochrome laser printer has the speed and adaptability that a small workgroup needs, plus room to grow.

At a midrange price the Lexmark E460dn holds its ground against more-expensive, high-volume competitors such as the Xerox Phaser 3600N and the Ricoh Aficio SP 4210N.

The Lexmark E460dn performed remarkably well on our speed and print-quality tests. It printed plain text at a rate of 37 pages per minute - the fastest speed we've seen to date among monochrome lasers priced below £400, and close to Lexmark's promise of 40ppm.

Although its graphics speed was middle-of-the-pack at 7.7ppm, the Lexmark E460dn's graphics quality was surprisingly good, with smooth contours and textures in photos, and a fine level of detail and gradation even in darkly shaded areas - all notoriously difficult for a monochrome laser to pull off. Overall, the Lexmark E460dn prints faster and produces better-looking output than the HP LaserJet 4014n, which costs more.

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This two-toned gray Lexmark E460dn printer offers automatic duplexing and USB, ethernet, and parallel ports. The unit's front panel opens to reveal an all-plastic (yet sturdy) multipurpose tray that holds 50 sheets. The main, 250-sheet input tray is made of sturdy plastic as well, with large, color-coded paper guides that move easily. You can expand to 800 sheets by adding a 550-sheet tray.

Lexmark put some serious thought into the printer controls, as evidenced by the Lexmark E460dn's four-line LCD and sophisticated menu options. Besides covering all of the essentials, submenus offer options such as 'Instructional Connection Guide', which prints a set of installation instructions directly from the printer.

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When the LCD displayed an error message during our testing, one of the options that appeared was 'Show me', which turned out to be a series of simple illustrations with brief instructions on how to resolve the problem. For more-detailed assistance, you can consult the Lexmark E460dn's excellent electronic user's guide, which installs automatically with the print driver.

You can spend a little or a lot for toner. The Lexmark E460dn ships with a 7000-page cartridge. Returnable replacement cartridges come in three sizes, ranging from extra-high-yield (15,000 page) to standard-yield (3500 pages). Cost per page is higher than average.

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Lexmark E460dn: Specs

  • Mono Laser printer
  • Printer Resolution: 600 x 600dpi
  • Printer Standard Resolution:1200x1200dpi
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 80,000 Pages
  • Mono Toner Life: 3,000 Pages
  • Double Sided Printing Unit (Duplex) Standard
  • Paper Trays (Standard/Maximum): 2 (3)
  • Single Sheet Exit
  • Paper Handling Input 1: 250 Sheet Input Tray
  • Paper Handling Input 2: 50 Sheet Multi-Purpose Tray
  • Maximum Input Capacity: 850 Sheets
  • 150 Sheets Output Bin
  • 4-line, 20 character backlit LCD
  • 466MHz processor
  • Memory (Maximum): 64MB (576MB)
  • USB/RJ-45, USB 2.0, RJ-45
  • Network Ready
  • 10/100 Base-TX
  • 53dbA
  • 260x370x406mm
  • 14.05kg
  • Mono Laser printer
  • Printer Resolution: 600 x 600dpi
  • Printer Standard Resolution:1200x1200dpi
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 80,000 Pages
  • Mono Toner Life: 3,000 Pages
  • Double Sided Printing Unit (Duplex) Standard
  • Paper Trays (Standard/Maximum): 2 (3)
  • Single Sheet Exit
  • Paper Handling Input 1: 250 Sheet Input Tray
  • Paper Handling Input 2: 50 Sheet Multi-Purpose Tray
  • Maximum Input Capacity: 850 Sheets
  • 150 Sheets Output Bin
  • 4-line, 20 character backlit LCD
  • 466MHz processor
  • Memory (Maximum): 64MB (576MB)
  • USB/RJ-45, USB 2.0, RJ-45
  • Network Ready
  • 10/100 Base-TX
  • 53dbA
  • 260x370x406mm
  • 14.05kg

OUR VERDICT

The Lexmark E460dn is well designed for small workgroups. It's fast enough to compete with more-expensive monochrome lasers, and it generates pages with first-rate print quality.

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