Lexmark X500n color laser MFP review:

Lexmark X500n color laser MFP

At scanning, the Lexmark X502n was again the fastest of the four by a good lead. It scored 6.30ppm for grayscale and 6.23ppm for color. Finally, for copying using the automatic document feeder, it was a speed demon: 14.65ppm. This machine is a workhorse!

CNET Labs' color multifunction laser speed tests (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Copy  
Color graphics  
Color text  
Black graphics  
Black text  
Lexmark X502n
14.65 
6.82 
6.97 
13.95 
19.71 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
3.36 
4.5 
4.94 
14.87 
14.76 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
11.37 
3.74 
3.95 
3.76 
13.53 
HP Color Laserjet CM1017 MFP*
N/A
6.16 
5.91 
6.31 
6.81 
Note: *Note: For MFPs without an ADF, such as the HP CM1017, we do not measure copy speed.

CNET Labs' color multifunction laser speed tests (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Lexmark X502n
6.23 
6.3 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
2.57 
2.63 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
4.31 
4.44 

Often, great speeds come at the expense of quality, but happily, this isn't the case with the Lexmark X502n. Its black text prints were basically perfect, which we would expect of a printer in this price range. Black graphics were also very good, marred only by faint horizontal lines. Color text was nearly perfect, though very close inspection revealed some inconsistencies in character formation. Color blending was very smooth, though. The color graphics print was a bit more problematic, but very good nevertheless. Color blocks were nicely saturated, gradients were smooth (though we saw banding in the grayscale gradient), and the photo elements were sharp and detailed. Our only big problems with this print were that the colors were a bit too ruddy and it had some problems handling barcode-style patterns.

The X502n's Achilles' heel is grayscale scanning. It did a pretty good job handling various patterns, but the scan was very overblown, with a faded look to it. None of the blacks were remotely black, and details were shot in the highlighted areas of photo elements. But the X502n did a better job with the color scan. Colors were smoothly rendered and pleasing and details were sharp. The only problem was again, its inability to handle the closely set lines of barcode graphics. Overall, we were very impressed by the X502n's quality. Only the HP Color LaserJet CM1017 did better, but that particular model sacrifices speed to quality and is better suited for workgroups that need very high quality graphics.

CNET Labs' color multifunction laser quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color graphics  
Color text  
Black graphics  
Black text  
HP Color Laserjet CM1017 MFP
Good 
Excellent 
Excellent 
Excellent 
Lexmark X502n
Good 
Good 
Good 
Excellent 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
Good 
Good 
Good 
Excellent 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
Good 
Good 
Good 
Good 

CNET Labs' color multifunction laser quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Grayscale scan  
Color scan  
Lexmark X502n
Fair 
Excellent 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
Good 
Good 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
Good 
Good 

Service and support
Lexmark backs the X502n with a one-year warranty. Free and toll-free phone support is available weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT for the length of the warranty. Lexmark's Web site includes a knowledge base, downloadable drivers, and a resource center to help get you started on new printing projects.

What you'll pay

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