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Lexmark P4350 review: Lexmark P4350

Lexmark P4350

Kristina Blachere
6 min read

The Lexmark P4350's front panel sports a simple interface with one button to switch between Scan, Copy, and Photo modes, and a cluster of buttons to navigate the menus and adjust scan quality and copy brightness. Quick keys rotate, resize, and even preview documents before you print. The bright, color LCD is full of useful information, such as a 3D display of ink levels. If you open the printer to change inks, the LCD even shows you how to align the new cartridge. You also get a generous bank of slots for printing straight from a PictBridge camera or from digital memory cards (CompactFlash Type I and II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo with adapter, MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital, SmartMedia, Microdrive, and xD).

6.6

Lexmark P4350

The Good

Inexpensive; good photo prints; digital memory card and camera slots; super easy to use; compact design.

The Bad

So-so scan and graphics print quality; must swap ink cartridges to print text economically; can fax only through a computer.

The Bottom Line

This is a good beginning investment for new amateur photo enthusiasts; pickier shutterbugs should pay more for a better-performing all-in-one.
Lexmark P4350 all-in-one
There's a multifunction on the market for every imaginable user--those for small businesses that do high-volume color printing, others for people who are serious about their digital photography, plus models for the strictly grayscale printing crowd. Yet perhaps the largest market for all-in-one machines is that of home users on a limited budget who take lots of digital pictures, yet still find technology intimidating. That's where the Lexmark P4350 comes in. This inkjet all-in-one incorporates scanning, copying, and direct photo printing into one fairly compact package that's a breeze to use. The P4350 has a few shortcomings, such as mediocre scans and uneven print quality, but its photos are good enough for the price, while its interface and software are unbeatable for user-friendliness. The Lexmark P4350 has the same low-slung, eye-pleasing design as its sibling, the Lexmark P6250, but with a smaller, 1.68-inch LCD. The white-and-silver casing echoes Mac computer stylings. This light, 10.6-pound device measures 12.15 by 17.14 by 20.73 inches (L,D,W) with the 100-sheet input tray extended in back and the output tray extended on the bottom. The paper guides and the scan lid feel flimsy; no surprise, due to the low price tag, but at least you can remove the scanner lid to fit large books on the glass bed. The P4350 lacks costly features such as a fax machine, an automatic document feeder, a straight paper path option, and a single-feed tray for envelopes and letterhead. If you need these, try a business-oriented multifunction, such as the Canon Pixma MP780.

The P4350 ships with two ink cartridges: one with three colors for graphics and one photo cartridge that contains black, photo cyan, and photo magenta ink. If you plan on doing high-volume text printing, you should buy a black-ink cartridge ($25 for a high-yield version). We find it a hassle to have to swap out and align the ink tanks when you alternate between printing text and photos, but at least this Lexmark provides a storage well inside to hold the spare tank. To avoid ink swapping, check out a costlier multifunction with individual inks, such as the Canon Pixma MP760.

The Lexmark P4350 makes printing photos a snap. Just plug your PictBridge camera or digital-media card into the printer's front port, and you can view, select, and print photos immediately. The LCD photo menu lets you rotate and crop pictures, adjust the brightness, and convert pictures to sepia tones. The P4350 lets you choose paper size through its own input controls and automatically fits and aligns multiple photos onto one page, obviating the need for you to perform these tasks via the printer software on your computer. For more sophisticated photo-editing functions, such as adjusting the color balance levels, despeckling, or adding fills and erasing parts of the photo, you can use your computer to open the photos with the included Lexmark Photo Editor program; this is no Adobe Photoshop, but it meets basic picture-tweaking needs.

Scanning and copying are easy to perform. You can lighten or darken your photocopies and squeeze multiple versions of an image onto one page. A corner of the scanner glass even glows blue to show you where to place the original. Once you switch to the scan function, the LCD lets you choose between scanning to e-mail, Lexmark Photo Editor, or Microsoft Word. The scan software incorporates Abbyy FineReader Sprint 6.0, which converts scans to digitally editable text.

Lexmark's print drivers are easy to use and are grouped into three tabs: Quality/Copies, Paper Setup, and Print Layout. If you're overwhelmed by these choices, you can let a task-based drop-down menu adjust the drivers according to the project, be it printing a photo or making a banner. We were happy to discover that the Lexmark P4350 senses the kind of paper you're using and adjusts the print quality accordingly.

Speed
Fortunately, the Lexmark P4350 printed text faster than its more expensive sibling, the P6250. The P4350's average time of 6.71 pages per minute (ppm) was a bit faster than the more expensive Canon MP760's 6.45ppm but a tad slower than the Dell 962's 7.46ppm. The P4350 printed our 8x10-inch color test photo on Lexmark's Premium Photo Paper in a dawdling 5.43 minutes, comparable to the Dell 962's 5.37 minutes; neither of these low-cost machines could match the Canon MP760's zippy 1.76 minutes. The Lexmark P4350's scanning speeds were average at 3.9ppm for grayscale and 2.41ppm for color. The P4350 copied our black-and-white, mixed test and graphics copy test document at a rate of 3.43ppm, which ranks it among the faster inkjet copiers we've tested.

CNET Labs' multifunction speed (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Copy speed  
Color scan speed  
Grayscale scan speed  
Photo speed  
Text speed  
HP Photosmart 2710 all-in-one
3.27 
4.63 
4.79 
0.26 
7 
Dell 942
3.49 
2.99 
4.15 
0.21 
6.9 
Lexmark P4350
3.43 
2.41 
3.9 
0.18 
6.71 
Epson Stylus CX6600
3.35 
1.64 
3.84 
0.35 
4.67 
Brother MFC-420cn
2.27 
3.1 
2.95 
0.15 
3.19 

Quality
You can get decent prints for home use with the Lexmark P4350, but not at its default driver settings. CNET Labs' text prints on Lexmark premium inkjet paper were dark and crisp at reading distance, though letters looked fuzzy up close, the result of poor bidirectional alignment and ink spray. Using the default settings, graphics looked terrible, with jagged curves, low resolution, grainy-looking solid areas, as well as gradients with both printhead and color banding. When we switched to the driver's Photo setting, the gradients improved, but text and curves remained coarse. Photo performance was better, with less visible ink droplets. Skin tones were smooth, presentable, and warm, but neither accurate nor saturated. If you're a stickler for output quality, you should check out the Epson CX6600 or the pricier Canon Pixma MP760.

The quality of the P4350's grayscale scans was merely fair, with stark contrast, blurry images, and white flecks and blotchy patches throughout the solid dark area regions. Color scan quality was even worse, with color in grayscale areas, horizontal banding, missing details, and garish green colors.

CNET Labs' multifunction quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Photo  
Graphics on inkjet paper  
Text on inkjet paper  
HP Photosmart 2710 all-in-one
2 
2 
4 
3 
4 
Epson Stylus CX6600
4 
4 
3 
3 
4 
Lexmark P4350
1 
2 
3 
2 
3 
Dell 942
2 
2 
3 
3 
3 
Brother MFC-420cn
2 
2 
3 
3 
3 
Note: Quality chart (1=poor, 2=fair, 3=good, 4=excellent)

Lexmark offers a good service-and-support package for the P4350. Along with a one-year warranty, toll-free phone tech support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. ET. Like HP, Lexmark's Web site organizes all relevant support offerings around each product. The Web offerings include e-mail support, access to a knowledge base, how-tos, documentation, FAQs, and driver downloads. Lexmark lacks instant chat with a representative, which HP offers.
6.6

Lexmark P4350

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 6Support 6
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