Sixty quid for a device that prints, scans and copies sounds like an irresistible deal. As is often the case with peripherals, things aren't quite what they seem.

The ink cartridge, for a start, is something of an oddity. We've become used to printers replacing the universal colour cartridge with individual tanks – if one colour runs out, you can replace just that colour's tank rather than having to junk the entire cartridge.

The X2470, however, goes for the opposite philosophy: you don't even get individual colour and black versions. Everything is built into a single cartridge and, because this is so small, you can expect to be replacing it very frequently. We think Lexmark's running-cost estimates may be quite conservative – this could work out as a rather expensive model.

In most other respects, though, the X2470 is a solid, if uninspired, MFD (multifunction device). Its cream casing is rather striking, even if the lack of heft suggests that it won't be the most robust of machines. The one-touch buttons make it a very user-friendly device and, while the print resolutions are very much the standard for sub-£100 MFDs – as, for that matter, is the 100-page input tray – the inclusion of a PictBridge port is a nice thought.

We weren't too impressed by the speeds. The quoted figures proved wildly optimistic. It turned out that the X2470 could manage only 4.4ppm (pages per minute) when generating colour prints, and you'll need to be satisfied with just 1.7ppm if you're going to get decent quality. Even its highest quality mode was no more than adequate.

Neither was the Lexmark particularly impressive at text. Even at the top setting, characters were thick and lacked finesse. Scanning facilities were adequate given the price, but the low optical scanning resolution means that such features are always going to be rather limited.

Lexmark X2470: Specs

  • Max print resolution 4,800x1,200dpi
  • optical scanner resolution 600x1,200dpi
  • quoted print speed B=15ppm C=15ppm
  • actual print speed B=6.8ppm C=4.4ppm
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • ink costs £12
  • print life (pages) 165
  • digicam port
  • 1-year warranty
  • 375x286x153mm
  • 4.9kg
  • Max print resolution 4,800x1,200dpi
  • optical scanner resolution 600x1,200dpi
  • quoted print speed B=15ppm C=15ppm
  • actual print speed B=6.8ppm C=4.4ppm
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • ink costs £12
  • print life (pages) 165
  • digicam port
  • 1-year warranty
  • 375x286x153mm
  • 4.9kg

OUR VERDICT

The X2470 is cheap on paper, but its running costs will stack up in the long run. Add to this average speed and final quality that fails to match that of the similarly priced HP PSC 1410, and this is an MFD that will struggle to establish itself as the best buy.

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