On paper, the Lexmark X9350 is an ideal all-in-one printer for the home or the small office. For less than $300, you get a device that prints, faxes, scans, copies, and lets you print photos without a PC. It includes an automatic document feeder (ADF) and a built-in duplexer, and not only is it network ready, but it's also set up for wireless networking. The downside? Slow task speeds and mediocre print quality. That said, given the feature set and the price, we think this could be a good fit for a home or a very small office that doesn't need fast, high-volume prints or stellar print quality but does need network capability. The comparably priced Canon Pixma MP830 offers faster speeds and better print quality across the board, but it's not network ready.
The Lexmark X9350 is reasonably sized for an inkjet all-in-one device. It stands 18.3 inches wide, 15.1 inches deep, and 10.6 inches tall, and it weighs less than 23 pounds. Its glossy white-and-brushed-silver body evokes the Apple aesthetic. An ADF sits atop the scanner cover and can hold up to 50 sheets of originals. Using the ADF, you can scan or copy legal-size documents; the largest original the flatbed scanner can accommodate is A4.
The X9350's paper-handling options are basic and straightforward. The input tray pulls out from the front of the printer and holds up to 150 sheets of plain paper. The cover of the input tray serves as the output tray, and a pullout arm helps to corral longer sheets. In the bowels of the output tray resides a small media feeder, which lets you manually insert single sheets of photo paper or envelopes for one-off prints (as opposed to swapping out the contents of the input tray). We had significant problems printing photos via the manual feed tray: no matter what adjustments we made, they came out crooked. When we loaded the 4x6 photo paper into the main paper tray, though, we didn't have any problems. You can purchase an optional second input tray for a total input of 300 sheets. You can also adjust the input tray to accommodate a length of tear-off sheets for banner prints.
The front of the printer also houses a photo printing "bay" of sorts: four media card slots and a USB/PictBridge port for PC-free printing. The media card slots accept all major types of cards, though some may require an adapter. The PictBridge port lets you print straight from PictBridge-enabled cameras and also doubles as a USB port for printing from USB devices, such as flash thumbdrives.
The control panel is clean and easy to use. A 2.4-inch color LCD folds up from the panel, allowing you to find the best viewing angle. The menu is easy to navigate using four direction keys and an OK key. The alphanumeric keypad lets you dial in fax numbers or change the number of copies you want to make.
The Lexmark X9350 uses a two-tank ink system: one black and one color--cyan, magenta, and yellow. For better photo printing, you can swap out the black tank for a tricolor photo ink tank, giving you six-color prints. Lexmark charges $25 for each replacement cartridge. While the two-tank system is easier to maintain, we still prefer individual ink tanks because they reduce waste and keep more money in your pocket.
The Lexmark X9350 offers all the features that a home or a small office needs to be productive: fax, scan, copy, and print. It's also network ready, both wired and wireless. The built-in wireless 802.11g adapter is backward-compatible with older 802.11b wireless networks, too, so you won't have to update your whole network just to use this printer. The detailed user guide walks you through the process of installing the printer on your network. If you want stand-alone functionality, you can also connect the X9350 via USB.
Fax functionality is usually the sign of a serious office-oriented all-in-one, and the X9350 offers the usual features. The X9350's user guide helps you set up the fax functionality with different equipment, such as answering machines, or under different scenarios, such as faxing with or without a PC. You can use either the ADF or the flatbed scanner for faxing, though legal-size faxes will require the ADF. Using the menu and keypad, you can program up to 89 speed-dial numbers and up to 10 groups (up to 30 numbers per group). If you're away from your office, you can set up fax forwarding, which will push your faxes to another fax number you designate. You can also schedule a fax blast (also called broadcast fax), which will send the same fax to up to 30 numbers or groups. On the flip side, if you're tired of all the incoming junk faxes, you can set up junk fax blocking, which prevents you from getting faxes from numbers you've specifically blocked or from numbers that offer no caller ID information (you'll need to have caller ID working on your fax line).
The copy function offers the usual array of features, including N-up (that is, image repeat), reducing and enlarging, and collating. Additionally, the X9350 has a built-in duplexer, which allows you to print on both sides of a page--a great feature for cutting costs. You can initiate scans from your PC or from the printer itself. If your printer is networked, you can save the scan to your PC or open it in a number of applications for editing. Additionally, you can scan a document as an e-mail attachment or use the optical character recognition software to create a text-editable scan. More advanced features include the ability to straighten a crooked scan, sharpen blurry edges, reduce background noise on a color document, and scan multiple images before output.