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back to article Lexmark E260DN networked mono laser printer

Unless the vast majority of your documents need colour, you'd do well to look at a mono laser as your main printer. Lexmark has a wide range and maintains its reputation - a hangover from its days as IBM's printer division - for producing good, reliable office-oriented printers. The E260DN is a mid-range machine handy for the …

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Flame

Standard Lexmark pricing....

Available from Misco for £112.

Consumable replacement will set you back £117.

so use it and throw it away, same as their Inkjets.

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Stop

3500 pages?

Is that real pages or Lexmark's definition of pages, which would make it about 700 pages.

I own a Lexmark colour laser printer which was supposed to have 3000 pages per cart. I got around 600 pages out of them before the toner ran out.

Lexmark couldn't be bothered to reply to my emails questioning this rather large disparity.

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how fast does it really need to be?

If this is like the laser printer at home - the faster it prints means many more wasted sheets inbetween the time when you click the print icon, realize you picked the wrong {page|option|pages}, and say "oops, oh shit", and when you can run over to stop the print job from dumping paper all over the place.

Since our success rate on printing the right things is, oh, about 50% it seems, this would just burn through paper. Having the microscopic icons in office doesn't help. Wife seems to be really good at sending something which then borks the page layout memory which in turn spews 50 pages of garbage with one garbled character at the top of each.

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Dead Vulture

@Article

"parallel ports" - Why the big surprise?

The vast majority of office printers have a little grey box tucked round the back, which is probably about fifty years old on average. Called a print server, or more colloquially: a JetDirect box, it is certain to have parallel ports on it. Only. Yes, I know you can get USB versions now, but anyway...

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Parrallel ports and printer speed

@Dave I agree that a parallel port is useful for adding a Jet Direct box for a standalone printer, but surely it's not needed on a printer that has a network print server built in?!

Re: Speed, try printing 100 copies of a single page document, I suspect that'll get you closer to the fabled 30ppm.

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Re: Standard Lexmark pricing....

"so use it and throw it away, same as their Inkjets."

Or better still, don't buy it in the first place. Seriously.

Even landfill is too good for the pieces of crap that Lexmark churn out - mono laser printers still have their place for sure, but at least with my aging Samsung ML-1610 I actually get a decent amount of pages out of the toner cartridge, which costs around £50 a throw.

Admittedly, the ML-1610 isn't networked, but a NAS box acting as a print-server fixes that little problem.

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Unhappy

This thing is way expensive to run.

By comparison my old HP4000 series printers get 16K pages per XL cartridge (that's actual, not MFG numbers) which at US$120 works out to $.0075 or 3/4 of a cent per page. This POS is about 6x that. Now add in the wastage and labor that comes from frequent cartridge changes and its even worse. No mono laser should have such a low yield cartridge. Hell, even my entry level 1993 HP Laserjet 4L got 5000+ pages on a 4 ppm printer.

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@Dave

I have a print server at home too *AND* it is also grey. It used to be a 386 running window 3.11 but it now runs linux.

Don't recycle !! Reuse !!

@Simon Ward - Old PCs work just as well and all that is needed is a network card from some "junk" shop and a bit of OS tweaking !!

And my HP2P printer (circa 1990) still works although the cartridges are near impossible to find so refill kits come in handy for the 3 cartridges I still have to hand !!

Unless one is re-writing War and Peace in Klingon, WTF does one need a very powerful, high speed laser printer for anyway ??

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@ Anthony

Join the club Anthony, ours was the next larger model Lexmark color laser and did about the same thing, emptied the larger color carts in under 600 pages with barely any color on them. Ironically enough it also achieved nowhere near it's rated speed. I'm sure there's something good about it but "doorstop" wasn't what I had in mind.

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Re: @Dave

"Old PCs work just as well and all that is needed is a network card from some "junk" shop and a bit of OS tweaking !!"

I know - it just happens that the NAS box that I'm using at home has print server capability as well. Keeps a well used and reliable printer going whilst at the same time freeing up a USB port on my main machine.

"Unless one is re-writing War and Peace in Klingon, WTF does one need a very powerful, high speed laser printer for anyway ??"

We do - since we do our advertising brochures and training materials in-house we have a couple of seriously powerful colour lasers, one of which will also handle stuff like collation and binding. Running costs for these things are surprisingly good - works out at around a penny a page for mono printing and around 2.5p/page for colour (factoring in the fact that we use glossy paper for brochures etc.). For more general printing we've got a couple of HP4500s which are still going strong after Ghod knows how long.

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Boffin

@ Everybody

The page yields quoted by Lexmark are from tests run to ISO/IEC 19752, the international standard for page yield tests of laser printers and multifunctions. It uses a standard set of page images, which may not match yours for coverage. This is why you may get fewer pages than the spec sheet suggests. However, if every manufacturer quotes figures produced from the same test regime, they should all be 'off' by the same amount. Not really one you can level at Lexmark, alone.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Simon Williams

We were already aware of how yields are determined. Their better printers keep track of percent coverage per page and per cartridge, this can be compared against the ISO test pages and is shown to be accurate. It is definitely not why we (our business, I can't speak for Anthony's use) ran out. I would expect Anthony also realizes that if pages had 100% color on them (which is what it would take, 3000/600 = 5X the expected 5% coverage, with 4 cartridges. 5 x 5 x 4 = 100% coverage to empty them all by the 600 page mark, that they wouldn't last very long and wouldn't have made the remark.

Quite simply, our business printing wasn't using much color, used substantially LESS color per color page than the ISO test page. The printer dumped the toner into the recycling bin at an alarming rate, not onto the pages which looked fine. You are describing a normal situation and we are telling you about an abnormal one that has robbed us of hundreds of dollars worth of toner, as well as all the down-time trying to get some resolution.

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Boffin

@Anonymous Coward

A couple of points on your comment. The fact that you and Anthony have experienced excessive toner use on two Lexmark printers (which sound, from your descriptions, as if they may well be using the same colour engine) doesn't mean you can extrapolate to other machines in the range and to mono lasers, such as the one reviewed here. Secondly, to lay it at Lexmark's door, you'd need to show that other makes of printer don't show similar extravagant use printing the same document set. It could be some other factor which is causing this excessive usage.

I have no particularly love of Lexmark, but have used a mono laser printer of theirs along with others from Brother, HP and Xerox, printing a variety of different document types, for over 10 years without any signs of undue toner use. I'm just one customer, as are you. If this kind of toner use were commonplace, I'd expect knowledge of it to have filtered through the customer base very quickly.

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