With every generation of its market leading iPod personal music player, Apple's snipped a couple of millimetres off the size of the unit in just about every direction. Now, the physical laws relating to the conservation of energy state that all that extra mass has to have gone somewhere, and we reckon we've worked out where -- into Lexmark's X5470, a four-in-one printer, fax, scanner and copier that looks more than a touch like an iPod -- if iPods were capable of going on Super-Size-Me style eating binges of white plastic.
The physical design of a printer is usually your last concern when making a purchasing decision, simply because for the most part people don't spend time looking at printers. There's also not that much you can do with a unit that has to accept paper of certain sizes and incorporate certain functions, and these two factors have allowed printer companies to get away with units that were frighteningly ugly in the past. As such, while we're unlikely to take the X5470 home to meet mother, it's still a printer we wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen out in public with. Everyone knows that it's all to do with a printer's personality, anyway.
The X5470 is a four-in-one multifunction centre of the type that's quickly becoming the norm in the printer market. As a stock printer it's a four-colour model, although an optional 6-colour photo cartridge is also available. The onboard optical scanner works at a resolution of up to 600x1200 dpi, which is decent but not spectacular for this level of home/SOHO MFC, and the fax is a 33.6Kbps model. Lexmark rates the X5470's print speed at up to 25 pages per minute in draft black and 18 pages per minute in draft colour; colour levels beyond that see the rated speeds drop to 15 and 5 pages per minute respectively.
From a connectivity viewpoint, the X5470 uses a USB type B connector for straight PC connection, and is capable of using the optional wired or wireless ethernet adaptors, although Lexmark will slug you extra for those. It's PictBridge compatible, and comes with photo card slots for CF, SD/MMC, xD and Memory stick media cards.