Lexmark P707 Photo Jetprinter review: Lexmark P707 Photo Jetprinter

MSRP: $109.99

The Good Sleek design; has camera-card memory slots for fast access to digital photos.

The Bad Slow; inconsistent quality; pricey inks.

The Bottom Line This printer lets photo amateurs print excellent photos, but it requires patience and an optional ink cartridge for optimal output.

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6.6 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 8

Review summary

The Lexmark P707 is a sleek photo printer that comes with built-in camera-card slots and two ink cartridges: one for graphics color and one for photo color. Oddly, for the best and fastest results with this printer, you'll need to replace the photo-ink cartridge with a optional black-ink cartridge. Once you do, the Lexmark P707 will be capable of printing fine-looking photographs and excellent text and color graphics documents. If you're not interested in changing cartridges, for a slightly higher initial cost, you can have the similarly featured Canon i475D, a printer that lacks the glitzy design but one that will save you on long-term ink costs. Otherwise, the P707 is good for amateur digital photographers, students, and families.

The Lexmark P707 is a low-slung inkjet photo printer with a shiny, metal-like plastic front cover surrounded by two complementary shades of lightly textured, dark, fingerprint-proof plastic. The control panel, above and to the right of the front cover, consists of a pair of buttons set in a silver, plastic ellipse; one is the Power button/light, the other is the paper-feed button.

The P707's camera card-memory slots--for CompactFlash Types I and II, IBM Microdrive, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, and SmartMedia--are housed within a card-reader station that protrudes from the right side of the printer. Below that and underneath the front cover is an interestingly shaped, but flimsy and wobbly paper-exit tray.

So far, so good.

However, unlike many currently popular inkjet photo printers, the Lexmark P707 does not use individual ink cartridges. Instead, the P707 ships with two three-color cartridges. One is a cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY) color tank, and the other is a photo-ink tank with pale cyan, pale magenta, and black ink.

If you don't want to use up the small supply of black ink in the photo cartridge printing text, there's an optional process-black cartridge for text-only documents. We found that the black-ink cartridge sped up the overall printing process with no discernible loss of photo-image quality. Unfortunately, a high-yield black-ink cartridge from Lexmark costs almost half as much as the printer itself ($44.99); a regular-yield black cartridge is $28.99.

Installing either configuration of ink cartridges is not painful at all. Nor is setting up and connecting the P707 to your Mac or PC, as long as you either have a spare USB cable for it or had the foresight to buy one with the printer. The software and the drivers load quickly and easily, and after it prints a calibration page, the P707 is ready to use.

The set of standard camera card-memory readers and the Memory Card Manager utility that controls them stand out as solid features within the P707. Unfortunately, the P707 doesn't offer an LCD panel for viewing photos directly, nor is it a standalone photo printer: the P707 must be connected to a computer, even if you're using the card readers. Once the P707 is connected to a PC or Macintosh machine and its drivers and software are installed, place a digital camera's memory card into the appropriate slot to activate the Memory Card Manager on the computer's desktop.

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