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(Pocket-lint) - If desk space is at a premium and you’re looking for a compact, all in one printer copier and scanner, then Lexmark’s P6250 could be the answer…

Previous Lexmark printers and all in ones have been clunky-looking affairs, so it was nice to see a style revamp was allowed for the company’s latest range of machines. The P6250 is their latest extremely compact and quite stylish top-end all-in-one device. It’s well built and thanks to the near vertical paper feed support, it can be placed so that it sits tightly against a wall, saving more desk space.

A universal memory card reader and large 2.5-inch colour screen on the face mean you can print directly from memory cards via its card reader unit without needing to connect it up to a PC. Although there are quite a few menus to scroll through (all viewed in the 2.5-inch colour screen for PC-less printing), the simple control layout means you can print quite easily.

PictBridge support means compatible cameras can be plugged into the USB port that sits alongside the memory card slots and you can then print directly via the camera; the camera controlling the printer’s functions. The memory card reader would not always recognise cards I inserted. However, reinserting the same card again would normally do the trick.

The P6250 prints using three cartridges (but only two at a time, more on which in a moment) and six inks in total. You get a standard black ink tank, one standard colour tank for ‘normal’ or non-photographic printing and one photo ink tank that includes photo black, cyan and magenta ink that replaces the black tank when printing photos. A neat spare ink tank holder is included for the tank not in use.

All the colour ink tanks use Lexmark’s new EverColor ink set, a combination of dye and pigment based inks that provide improved colour reproduction and print longevity. However, print times are slow, it takes just over 32 minutes to print one A4 photo at highest quality on glossy photo paper on my iMac G4 system.

However the P6250 is USB 2.0 compatible (my Mac is not) so any USB 2.0 PC system will undoubtedly produce faster results - depending on your set up.

Scanning is simple to carry out via the on-board buttons on the fascia or by using a software import (TWAIN Acquire) on PC; but I found all the Lexmark software with this machine very good, but the Abbyy Optical Character Recognition software needs a separate installation and is a tad clumsy, copying type very well indeed but then removing any formatting from the original document.

The scanner is best left for document copying as it lacks detail if you want to copy your old film photos for example. Copying is straightforward and you can copy and print without connecting to a PC too.


High resolution printing at 1200x4800dpi provides ample detail and colour reproduction is good thanks to the new ink set. Copying and scanning is less accomplished but okay for the more ‘office' oriented tasks. Fast set up and stylish design complete a nice package that offers true photo quality output and the versatility of all the other built-in components. The Lexmark P6250 is certainly worth considering, if you're willing to give it time to impress on full quality.

Writing by Doug Harman. Originally published on 10 January 2005.