Lexmark X9350 All-in-one printer review

The X9350 is a bulky, blocky looking AiO that has just about all the features you’d need from a small or home office multi-function device. As if put together by some techno-archaeologist, the 9350 is designed in layers, each “strata” of the grey and white block featuring a part of the machine, which together form the whole.

The top layer is a 50-page auto-document feeder, beneath this sits the A4 flatbed scanner element while below here the hinged top section lifts up to reveal and gain access to the twin ink cartridge slots. At the base we find the protruding from the front a 150-sheet paper cassette that acts as a delivery tray, printed pages feed out onto its top.

To the right of the sheet feeder are four memory card slots that accept CF Type II, Memory Stick (Pro), SD/MMC and xD-Picture Cards. There’s also a PictBridge slot for direct connection of a compatible digital camera. In short, Lexmark has covered all the bases in terms of what the 9350 can deal with.

To control the 9350 and well thought-out control panel angles from the front of the machine and houses a nice LCD and a nice set of large controls and a good sized four-way jog button and a numerical key panel.

Ink installation of the black or tri-colour (cyan, magenta and yellow) or the additional Photo colour tank (with extra light cyan and light magenta included) is simple; they click home into their respective carriage when the machine is hinged open while connecting up and installing the software is more complex as you need to choose your connection type; impressively, the 9350 offers Wi-Fi, USB and Ethernet connectivity.

For USB2 and Ethernet connection, the process is straight forward enough and a good step-by-step set-up approach using the supplied set up guide. Wi-Fi is slightly more tricky as it depends on having a wireless network up and running (of course) and you need to connect the device with the USB cable as well whereby you enter the wireless network name and protocols in place (WEP passwords and so forth). Once sorted, you can disconnect the USB cable and then move the printer to its permanent home.

Once up and running, print speeds are best described as average, a little less than two pages per minute for a colour print - half Lexmark’s claim of five pages per minute. Duplex printing is built-in but finished pages are held up by a delay before printing the second side to allow drying time, which is a tad frustrating but the output is not bad for such as device.

However, 1200 x 1200dpi black text output is under par, characters are not crisp. Colour printing is good but photo output leaves a little to be desired so you’ll need to use the top 4800dpi setting and photo ink cartridge to get the best from printing your digital photos.

Colour is good with smooth transitions across colours for work on graphics so mixed colour and text documents certainly look the part. Like most AiO’s the scanning element to the 9350 also doubles as the copier and the transition from a scan to a copied page losses colour and detail making perfectly adequate copies, no more.

Scanning is okay with a top optical resolution of 1200 x 4800ppi but not up to a dedicated scanner in terms of quality particularly if, for example, you anted to scan photographic prints to store on a PC’s hard disc or for printing. A direct copy won’t give the quality you’d need to reproduce it as a “photo”.

Faxing you get up to 99 speed dial presets and a maximum fax speed of 33.6Kbps, but it is simple since the nice numeric keypad on the control panel is a cinch to use with the document to be faxed scanned through using the ADF.

Supplied software includes ABBEY FineReader OCR and Presto PageManager along with Lexmark’s Productivity Suite a set of general tools that includes a basic photo editing and management package as well. In short, the Lexmark 9350 is a very versatile if a tad slow but makes a good inexpensive option for any small or home office where it is more important to get the productivity (albeit a little slowly) without needing optimal print, scan or copy quality.

Verdict

Lexmark’s X9350, its top end AiO, provides plenty of tools for the small and/or home office but without doing anything exceptionally well.

It’s a workhorse rather than thoroughbred but then at the £230 price (you’ll find it for les online) it can still make sense for those after the features, particularly that WiFi printing capability, important if you have more than one work station but limited space.