Saturday, 5 May 2007

Don't buy Lexmark!

As we publish most of the books that we write and we make maximal use of graphic design and color, we need high-quality printers that can create our books reliably on demand. Consequently, we invested great time and effort into looking at the manufacturers specifications for the latest batch of color laser printers when our main workhorse started to show her age.

We made the mistake of buying a Lexmark printer and our error cost us around $5,000 in wasted materials and time. Specifically, we bought their C530dn color laser printer. Although the speed is good, the quality is awful, the reliability is awful and, of course, the support is non-existent. In the month that we had the printer, it printed 5,000 pages and fewer than 500 were good enough to sell.

Contrary to the manufacturers claims, Lexmark toner costs four times as much as HP toner. The Lexmark cartridges were visibly poorly made whereas the HP cartridges are almost always of excellent quality (about 1% are half empty!).

One of the main problems with the C530dn printer is that (we believe) it overheats after only 400 pages, causing a powerful internal fan to startup which serves to blow the toner around inside the printer. In only one month, the inside of the printer was filthy and every page it printed had a murky brown background.

We ended up forking out an extra £500 for a Hewlett Package CLJ 3800dn and so far so good. No problems with reliability, despite record book sales, and the quality is fantastic. This printer is also quieter and smaller!

So if you want a decent printer, don't buy Lexmark!

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