Lexmark – X2470 review

entry-level all-in-one with low-priced cartridge
Photo of Lexmark – X2470

In recent years Lexmark has majored on selling into the cheaper end of the market, euphemistically known as entry-level. The company’s done very well at it and last year it introduced both a printer and an all-in-one based on a single-cartridge design. One three-colour, £12 cartridge was all you needed to buy; quick and simple. With a purchase price of £40 for the all-in-one, it looked like real value.

Now Lexmark has tried to repeat the success with a rework of the all-in-one, called the X2470, which again uses the ‘No. 1′ cartridge to provide for all its needs. The company has added in two extras and bumped the price up by nearly 50 percent, though, so does the formula still work?

The case of the X2740 looks much the same as the earlier model, with its chunky white block design with rounded corners. Paper feeds from a telescopic tray at the back to another telescopic tray at the front, so when these are folded away the machine has a small, neat footprint.

On the top of the unit, the scanner section lifts for access to the single cartridge, which is a simple clip-in fit. The flatbed scanner on top is an A4 CIS device, which takes very little space and has a short warm-up time but also very little depth of field. This may make it difficult to get a focused scan of a book, where the text bends away from the glass near the spine.

The minimalist control panel at front right has an extra button, for one of the two new features of the X2470. As well as scan and copy buttons, there’s one for making a copy of a 15 x 10cm (6 x 4-inch) print, straight onto a glossy photo blank. This works well, though you do get some loss of colour in the copy.

The other extra is a PictBridge socket in the front panel, which enables you to connect a digital camera directly and use its LCD display to select and print pictures from its memory.

An interesting improvement in the print quality of the X2470 is a better black text print. The earlier machine could only produce a sort of dark, browny-grey from the three-colour cartridge, but this device, perhaps through improved firmware, gets much closer to black.

You’re likely to get around 170 to 200 A4 prints from a ‘No. 1′ cartridge, which equates to a page cost of just over 6.5p for black text and nearly 26p for a 20 percent cover colour graphic. Both these page costs are high, so although it may be quick and easy to slip in a new cartridge, you’re paying quite heavily for the privilege.

Company: Lexmark

Contact: 08704 440044

In many ways the X2470 is what the earlier Lexmark all-in-one should have been. It now works with digital cameras and can even handle your reprints. It's only problem is that the increase in price brings it closer to some serious rivals from Canon and HP.