The $200 Lexmark X7675 Professional printer gives office professionals and home users an easy-to-use tool to print media, fax documents, and scan text and photos. The device delivers on its promise to streamline the initial setup process, and establishing a Wi-Fi connection with your wireless router is headache-free thanks to the onscreen instructions. Even though the quality of the X7675's photo and document prints are clear and virtually blemish-free, you'll find yourself impatiently tapping your feet waiting for the printer to spit them out. The paper trays also suffer from slight design hiccups, but in the bigger picture, we have no problem getting past it since the rest of the X7675's report card shows all A's. The straightforward functionality and bonuses like an intuitive control panel, OCR scanning software, and a generous five-year warranty program makes it easy for us to give this Lexmark X7675 a solid recommendation.
Design and features
Lexmark outfits the X7675 in an attractive black finish with silver side paneling and clean, rounded edges that give it an original flair, as opposed to previous versions that looked too much like made-for-Mac clones. We're happy to see Lexmark take a unique stand on their chassis design. The printer measures 8 inches high by 19 inches wide by 14 inches deep and only weighs 19 pounds, making it easy to unplug and transport around the home or office. The front of the printer is pretty basic except for a media card reader on the right side that supports PictBridge USB, SD, MS, xD, MMC, CF, and MD cards as well as a center control panel that folds on a hinge for adjustable viewing angles.
The buttons on the control panel range access the most common device settings and include keys for your onscreen address book, copy/scan/fax/photo shortcuts, toggles for one and two-sided or black and white prints, a cancel button, and a button that takes you to more specific device settings. While we appreciate the time Lexmark saves by including the toggle keys, we're disappointed that the panel is missing one-touch autodial buttons. Our favorite control panel lives on the HP Officejet J6480. It's the basis for all other printer comparisons based on its intuitive layout, two-line display with ink maintenance alerts, and a comprehensive set of tactile shortcut buttons.
The paper input tray sits up on top of the printer and can hold up to 100 sheets of paper using the industry standard adjustable arm that stretches horizontally to fit paper sizes up to 8.5 inches by 17 inches. Again, Lexmark hurts our enthusiasm by not including any advanced to paper handling technology, especially after we've fallen in love with the HP J6480's massive 250-sheet input tray offered at the same price as the X7675. Nevertheless, we had no problem loading plain 20 pound paper into the tray, but the tray that's supposed to catch prints on the way out is too short; even with the extra plastic foot extended, the printer sent paper flying off our desk. We solved the problem by manually organizing finished prints and smaller media like photo paper so it didn't shoot out onto the floor, but it's definitely something to be aware of while you're using it. The X7675 also features an auto-document feeder that can hold up to 25 pages for copies, faxes, or scans.
Lexmark lets you connect the X7675 to your computer directly through USB or using the built in 802.11b/g wireless print server. Setting up either way is a breeze thanks to Lexmark's onscreen guide. In our experience, the typical Wi-Fi setup time usually requires about 15 minutes to 20 minutes to input DNS server information, usernames, and passwords to set up the connection, but we successfully connected the X7675 to our router and printed a page after only 5 minutes. A subtle indicator on the front of the printer alerts you to the status of your connection; green for "connected," yellow for "on but not connected," and red for "off." From there you can print, fax, scan, and copy over the network through your computer or directly on the machine. The X7675 can also scan files to a PDF file, an e-mail message, or to a USB key through the front-loading PictBridge port.
The X7675 ships with minimal paperwork to conserve paper, and you can access most of the instructions, warranty information, and promotional offers on the CD included in the box. Along with the drivers that support Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X, the CD also automatically installs several Lexmark productivity programs onto your computer. The Lexmark Toolbar gives you a shortcut bar on top of your Web browser for easy-access printing. Lexmark's Productivity Studio and Imaging Studio programs provide an easy way to auto-edit or crop your photos and include them on a series of creative projects, and the Lexmark Service Center acts as a troubleshooting aide should you encounter a snag in the printing process. We also enjoyed using the onscreen progress bar that automatically pops up when you print. It shows you the progress of your job in an easy-to-read percentage bar (the LCD on the control panel also shows the progress) and conveniently display a graphic representation of your ink depletion.