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ON TEST: The “PITR Editors Choice Award winning” Lexmark C3224DW and MC3224adwe

We put Lexmark’s new A4 colour devices through their paces on one of the busiest weeks in our year

Lexmark’s Go Line series continues to impress with the addition of two new colour models: the C3224DW desktop colour printer; and the MC3224adwe desktop colour multifunctional printer, which also offers colour copying and scanning to a variety of destinations, including network folder, WiFi-connected device, email, FTP, USB storage and cloud apps.

On taking delivery of the printers, we were immediately struck by their size – small enough to fit into the tightest of desktop spaces and light enough to be repositioned with ease – and by how little time it took to get them connected to the network and ready to go.

Easy set-up
Printer set-up on these devices is amongst the easiest and most intuitive of any printer/MFP we have tested. Consumables installation deserves particular mention for being so simple and fiddle-free. With a new front-loading design and new locking mechanism, onepiece toners (one for each colour) can be installed or replaced within seconds.

Connection to the office network was equally painless. Lexmark GO Line printers/MFPs are WiFi-enabled as standard and can be set up and used via apps for iOS and Android. There is also a built-in Ethernet port for hard-wiring to a network.

We used the Lexmark installation app to connect the devices to the office network, after which we downloaded the Lexmark print app. Within seconds, we all had access to remote printing and scanning via our phones and tablets.

The Lexmark Cloud app (available by firmware upgrade later this year) integrates existing cloud programs, e.g. Dropbox and Googledrive, giving users the ability to access and print documents stored in the cloud.

Operation is just as easy for walk-up users, thanks to a 7.2cm touchscreen colour control panel on the MC3224adwe and a USB port on the front of the device for printing to/scanning from a portable USB stick (MFP-only).

Made for business
With a monthly recommended page volume of 2,000 pages and a maximum monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages, the C3224DW and MC3224adwe are ideal for SME/SOHO workplaces and departmental use.

The combination of robust build quality (including a strong metal frame), lifetime fusers for lower running costs, a waste toner bottle with a 15,000- page capacity, and toner yields of up to 3,000 pages for black and 2,500 pages for each of the three colours offers the reassurance of reliable operation with minimal need for user intervention.

Print speed on both devices is a business-like 22 pages per minute or 11 sides per minute in duplex (double-sided) printing mode. We timed the first print out at around 18 seconds over the WiFi network, but the specs say it can be as fast as 11 seconds.

Duplex printing
In the context of the busiest printing week of our year, automatic duplex as standard was a real benefit, as it helped to keep paper volumes (and costs) down without interrupting the workflow. There was also the reassurance of knowing that if we did run out of colour toner, productivity wouldn’t be affected as the printers automatically default to mono printing.

Security & compliance
Data protection is important for any networkable product, and Lexmark has this covered with built-in, award-winning security that protects documents on the network and on the device. Lexmark’s receipt of a BLI security certificate for imaging and document security is testament to the company’s strength in this area.

The devices also have impressive green credentials. These include Energy Star compliance, going into sleep mode as soon as they have finished printing, and the backing of the Lexmark recycling program, which prevents waste toners from going to landfill.

Extended warranty
The devices come with a one-year warranty, with on-site repair within 3 to 5 days. However, this can be extended to a 4-year guarantee with 24-hour telephone support by registering your product within 90 days of purchase.

In summary, the C3224DW and MC3224adwe impressed us with their output and ease of use. With vibrant print quality, a choice of connectivity options, a robust design and trouble-free operation, these are ideal devices for small, busy offices and workgroups. Two thumbs up.