The Lexmark X4550 is a high-end version of the X3550, which we reviewed recently. The two printers offer the same design and feature set, with the exception that the X4550 adds wireless networking for an additional $50 (though it lacks an Ethernet port for wired networking). The X4550 is also rated to perform more quickly than the X3550, so the focus this review will be on performance since the two printers are so similar otherwise. (For an overview and analysis of the X4550's design, feature set, and support package, please refer to the review of the X3550.) Overall, the Lexmark X4550 produces mediocre prints and is a bit slow at tasks other than text printing. Its big draw is the fact that not only is it a $130 network-ready machine, but it comes with wireless networking standard. If you're a casual home user who prioritizes network-readiness, the Lexmark X4550 is a bargain. But if your focus is on print quality, check out the Canon Pixma MP460.
When compared to its comparably priced competition, the Lexmark X4550 proved to be quick with text prints and grayscale scans. But it was positively sluggish at graphics prints and 4x6 photos, as well as pokey with color scans. It scored 7.66 pages per minute for black text, a full page faster than the Canon Pixma MP510. But it scored a slow 1.04ppm for color graphics. Even worse was its photo print speed: a mere 0.40ppm for a 4x6 photo. The HP Photosmart C5280 was the next slowest, but still nearly doubled the pace with a score of 0.76ppm. The X4550 came back with grayscale scans--5.74ppm--but faltered with color scans--4.77ppm. Comparing the X4550 to the X3550, the former beat the latter soundly at text prints but fell a bit behind with graphics prints and scans. It was soundly trounced, too, in 4x6 photo prints.