The Good Fast text and graphics printing; highly expandable; direct printing from USB flash drive; business-friendly software; low printing costs.
The Bad Graphics print quality is merely fair; expansion options are costly.
The Bottom Line We wish the print quality were better, but otherwise, this is a very good office laser with sky-high potential for expansion.
The ideal office laser printer should print well and quickly, install easily on a network, offer useful business features, and expand to fit a growing office. Luckily, the Lexmark T640 has all of these bases covered, save one; its print quality is adequate but falls below the excellence of this machine's other features. The T640 even includes unique extras, such as a plug-in USB port that lets you print PDFs from a flash drive. Offices that print sensitive data, such as financial, legal, or medical firms, can take advantage of password-protected printing and account tracking. This modest-looking printer hides its big potential for growth; for instance, you can add enough paper trays to hold 3,850 sheets. Both wired and wireless networking add-ons are possible, as is built-in double-sided printing. Despite its minor drawbacks, the $699 Lexmark T640 is one of the most feature-packed and easy-to-use laser printers we can recommend for a growing office.
The serious Lexmark T640 measures 13.6 by 16.6 by 19.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 38 pounds, with convenient side handgrips for easy moving. The Lexmark T640 comes with a 250-sheet paper drawer and a 100-sheet, flip-open multipurpose tray. A 250-sheet output tray rests on top, with USB, parallel, and Ethernet ports clustered within a back panel. Atop the front, silvery control panel are an easy-to-read backlit LCD matched by menu navigation buttons, as well as a numeric keypad. A unique feature that most rival lasers lack is the T640's front USB port, which lets you pop in a flash drive and print PDF files directly from it.
The T640 configuration should be plenty for a small office, but Lexmark offers an overwhelming array of expansion options. You can add a duplexer to make double-sided prints, a 1,850-sheet output stacker, an envelope feeder, and several input drawers. The 64MB of RAM can expand up to 576MB, and you can also add a hard disk or internal wireless 802.11g networking.
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