A damp evening in London was brightened up by the presentation of the new Lexmark P450, accompanied by a talk from music photographer Benjamin Johnson.

Compact in size, the P450 bares a similarity in design to its larger siblings in the Lexmark ‘P' series. Familiar features, such as the multiple media card ports, catering for Compact Flash types I & II, SD, xD, SM, MMC and Memory Stick (also Memory Stick Duo and Pro via an adapter) and the flip-up 2.4 inch colour screen, are present as ever.

The viewing screen allows images to be viewed, manipulated, cropped and even effects added before either being printed or burnt to CD. This, combined with the simple menu control system, means that even users with little to no previous experience should have no trouble in getting to grips with the printer's operation.

The newly integrated CD burner allows collections of pictures to be burnt onto a CD-R. Interestingly Lexmark claim to have enabled the CD writer to burn multiple session-tracks onto a single CD-R, until the disc is full, rather then having to rely on more expensive CD-RW technology. Another addition to the software is the ability to print direct from a plug-in USB flash memory stick, which can connect via the port on the front left of the printer.

The P450 has also been Bluetooth prepared and can be enabled by the simple addition of an inexpensive USB Dongle, attached at the rear, allowing Bluetooth capable devices, such as camera phones, to transmit direct to the printer.

Printing relies on a single cartridge system and the P450 accepts either the numbers 33 or 35 Lexmark inkjet cartridges. The number 33 cartridge will give you about 70 colour prints while the 35, the 'High Yield' cartridge will last for 140 prints. Printing options include full page 10cm x 15cm (6"x4") prints, a bordered option and contact-style preview sheets. The paper hopper, at the rear of the printer, holds up to 25 sheets.

First Impressions

The simple compact design coupled with the ability to print and burn images without the need for a computer might be a winner.

The price seems a little high but with Christmas round the corner discounts might be available.