Inkjet-based multifunction devices and low-volume laser MFDs have their place, but if you want something that can take the place of a high-volume office photocopier, while simultaneously acting as a workgroup printer, you’re going to have to look a bit further up the scale. One possible solution is this X620e Multifunction printer, or MFP, from Lexmark.
This is actually two pieces of kit in one. There’s the printer itself, a Lexmark Optra 620n, which can churn out up to 30 pages per minute and has a top resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi. Then there’s the scanner module, which is a sheet-fed unit that has an optical resolution of 300 x 300dpi and can work its way through up to 23 pages per minute in mono and 14 in colour. Colour? Yes; although the printer itself is mono, the scanner works in colour, so you can use it to scan colour documents and then send them to a separate colour inkjet or laser printer if you wish.
The two units connect together via a network cable and sit on the supplied stand, as shown in the photo. Once both have warmed up, the LCD colour touch screen on the scanning unit can be used to specify the brightness, scale, number of copies, paper tray and so on, just like a conventional photocopier. But you can also use Lexmark’s Document Distributor software to automate scanning jobs via scripts. This means that you can arrange for a scanned document to be e-mailed to three people (via an LDAP-compliant address book), printed out in duplicate and stored on an archive system, for example. It saves time and has password protection so it can’t easily be mis-used.
In order to manage this operation, the scanning unit has a built in hard drive and firmware that works with the software to decide how each document should be processed. The printer can act as a normal network-connected printer too, while the unit’s integrated modem means that scanned documents can also be faxed to other machines, either manually or automatically, or transferred via FTP to a Web server. Duplexing is supported by the scanner and the printer, so you can process double-sided documents without any extra hassle.
300dpi isn’t a particularly high scanning resolution, so the unit isn’t ideal for scanning photographs. But for business documents it works very well, and can be used as an archiving tool as well as all its other uses. The printer’s output is good, as you’d expect, and Lexmark rates the entire system as being suitable for connection to a workgroup of up to 40 users, so it certainly should be robust.
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