Lexmark's T652n monochrome laser printer combines a speedy engine, lots of paper capacity, and a vast array of paper-handling options. But in view of its high price, it seems a bit skimpily configured. (We have the same complaint about its similarly priced competitor, the HP LaserJet P4014n.)

Although the T652n didn't come anywhere near delivering Lexmark's promised top speed of 48 pages per minute (ppm) in our tests, it was still fast. Plain-text pages printed at a swift rate of 38.2ppm and graphics exited at 7ppm, a solid mid-range speed. Text quality was great, but the graphical images we printed - from high-resolution photos to pie charts and line art - looked poor even for monochrome laser output: dark and rough.

The Lexmark T652n comes with a 550-sheet main input tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray, plus a 350-sheet output tray. All components are sturdy and nicely designed. If you need more, you can take your pick from a laundry list of options, including 250-sheet and 550-sheet input trays, envelope feeders, staplers and mailbox units. One of the few things this printer can't handle is duplexing - not even as an option; for that, you must buy its cousin, the £818 Lexmark T652dn.

The boxy unit's other features are appealing, too. The Lexmark T652n connects via USB or ethernet; a front USB port accommodates direct input from a key drive. The intuitively designed control panel includes a four-line, backlit monochrome LCD that shows simple graphics as well as clearly written text messages and context-sensitive help.

Toner costs for the Lexmark T652n show some compassion for high-volume offices, and it gave pretty average price-per-page figures for a high-volume monochrome laser printer in our tests.

In contrast to Lexmark's usually excellent documentation, the T652n's poster-size setup guide employs a largely a wordless format with illustrations that sometimes are too small to understand clearly, or lack key details. The PDF-based user guide is up to Lexmark's usual high standard.

Lexmark T652n: Specs

  • Mono laser printer
  • 500MHz processor
  • 128MB memory
  • 1,200x1,200dpi max resolution
  • print speed: 48ppm
  • first page in 7.5 secs
  • 550-sheet input tray
  • ethernet
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • internal card slot
  • 425x510x427mm
  • Mono laser printer
  • 500MHz processor
  • 128MB memory
  • 1,200x1,200dpi max resolution
  • print speed: 48ppm
  • first page in 7.5 secs
  • 550-sheet input tray
  • ethernet
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • internal card slot
  • 425x510x427mm

OUR VERDICT

Lexmark's T652n has almost everything you'd want in a high-volume printer. Its few omissions, however, (particularly the absence of a duplexer) make its price seem excessive.

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