The Good Wireless-ready; fast prints; inexpensive.
The Bad Print quality needs a lot of improvement; bundled software has weird limitations.
The Bottom Line With its built-in wireless capability, the Lexmark Z1420 looks like a bargain until you see the prints it outputs. If you value print quality, look elsewhere.
The Lexmark Z1420 is a basic and inexpensive inkjet printer designed for home users who need to make only occasional prints. The key feature of this $80 printer is its ability to print wirelessly out of the box; that's a surprising feature for an entry-level inkjet and a boon for homes with multiple users. It prints quickly for a machine in this price range but sacrifices print quality in the process. If the wireless capability is paramount and you can live without great print quality, the Lexmark Z1420 is the printer for you. If you want to print good-looking holiday cards or newsletters, however, you're better off with a machine like the $50 Canon Pixma iP1800. Keep in mind that you can network a USB printer like the Pixma iP1800 with a print server or a router with a built-in print server, though your overall cost will be more than $80.
The Lexmark Z1420 employs a basic design. The white-and-gray printer is boxy, yet not unattractive in its simplicity. It measures 18.1 inches wide, 7.8 inches deep, and just 4.8 inches tall, and weighs a mere 5.7 pounds. The paper input support juts up from the rear edge of the printer and holds up to 100 sheets of regular paper. A translucent, dark gray shield sits in front of the input area, preventing random objects (such as pens or paper clips) from falling into the paper input area--it's a small, but well-considered, touch. The output tray slides out from the front of the printer.
The Z1420 uses a two-cartridge system--one black and one tricolor cartridge--which is standard-issue at this price. When printing photos, you can swap out the black tank for a tricolor photo cartridge, which gives you six-color photo prints. Lexmark's site offers three tiers of pricing: regular, high-yield, and a return program option. The regular black cartridge costs $26 (215 pages), the return program version costs $22, and the high-yield cartridge costs $30 (500 pages). The regular color cartridge costs $24 (185 pages), the return yield version costs $20, and the high-yield one costs $25 (500 pages). The optional photo cartridge will set you back $25. Using the high-yield cartridges, the per-page costs should be about 6 cents for black and 11 cents for color--both numbers are reasonable for a low-cost inkjet printer.
Get a Canon TS9020 wireless all-in-one printer for $39.99
Originally $200 and selling elsewhere for at least $60, this is a great option for home users. Plus: Own all of "Futurama" for just $30!
Get a Canon Pixma all-in-one printer for $19.99
Say what? It's true: This compact multifunction inkjet can print, scan and copy. It even comes bundled with photo-album software.
Inkjet printer buying guide
Baffled by the heap of options you need to consider when choosing an inkjet printer? Fear not, our terrific buying guide will sort you out.
Green printing: How does your printer stack up?
Considering the extensive range of consumables, from paper to cartridges, it's no surprise that printers are one of the big areas where environmental concerns take centre stage. So what can you do to lessen the impact that your printing has on the environment?
Lexmark's new printers turn green
Lexmark has unveiled a range of new printers targeted at the home and professional consumer, all with a strong focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness.
Lexmark's new multifunction line-up
Lexmark had announced seven new multifunction printers; four for small office and home users, and three for professional use.
Lexmark's new inkjets go wireless
Lexmark has announced five new inkjet printers, aimed at making wireless printing easy and affordable.
Lexmark 3840: Budget photo demon
We've seen enough Lexmark budget all-in-ones to fill the London Gherkin, but the 3480, like the rest of its printing brethren, is very impressive
Which printer should I buy?
Hi, I'd like to buy an affordable, durable printer that can produce colour letterheads and borderless images to a good standard. Can you recommend anything?
Lexmark X2470: A smashing bargain
Last week we inadvertently killed one of its relatives, but the Lexmark X2470 all-in-one printer has returned to exact its revenge
Lexmark X2470: snap-happy all-in-one
Behold the Lexmark X2470 all-in-one. It prints, scans, copies and, if we hadn't broken it, we reckon it might have been really rather good
Lexmark beefs up printer pallet
Lexmark recently had its 15th anniversary, and to mark the occasion it's just added three new products to its home printer range -- the X1270, X2470 and X3470.