I recently renovated my home office and was in dire need of a new all-in-one printer. My old HP OfficeJet was still in working order, but it lacked some of the new features found in today's AIO devices. I wanted to find something that integrated well with Windows, provided faxing/scanning (including OCR), was wireless (in case I wanted to print from my laptop in another room), created nice business-related prints, but also handled photo printing (providing both high-quality as well as onboard features such as a built-in screen and support for direct device access). After a rigorous search, I found what I think to be one of the best low-priced AIO printers on the market today… the Lexmark X7675.
The Lexmark X7675 Wireless All-in-One with Fax
Weighing in at 18.8 lbs with dimensions of 11.5H x 18.8W x 20.3D in. (that's with the paper trays extended), the Lexmark X7675 isn't exactly petite, but it isn't bulky either – it actually fits quite nicely on a standard printer stand. Of course, with its wireless capability you can put it anywhere that the unit will fit, although you do need to place it near a power outlet because it still needs to be plugged in. Inside the box, you'll find the printer itself along with one high yield XL color cartridge and one high yield XL black cartridge, which is a very nice touch since most printers only include standard size cartridges leaving the high yield cartridge as an extra purchase.
In addition, there is a basic setup sheet, a fax guide, a networking guide, installation CD, USB cable (for setup and/or connection), a phone cable, and a power cable. If you want to connect via Ethernet, you'll have to supply your own cable. One thing I love is that the power cable connects directly to the printer because the power supply is built-in, which means no huge power brick as a hassle. Installation is quick and easy, even when dealing with the wireless networking, although Lexmark assumes you already have your own network up and running – they don’t walk you through setting up a network from scratch, which is understandable. However, they do kindly include instructions in the networking guide on how to connect the printer in all three ways (wireless, USB, and Ethernet) and when going wireless, you can even use an ad hoc network (a direct wireless connection between your PC and the printer with no need for a router). The X7675 is all about providing you with options, which is very nice.
Printing with the Lexmark X7675
The most important aspect of a printer is of course the printing and the X7675 doesn't disappoint when it comes to quality. When using glossy paper you can get up to 4800 x 2400 dpi resolution and it definitely shows. Text is crisp and clear and the pictures are just beautiful. Even on regular 20 lb paper, the prints are above normal quality when it comes to AIO printers, but the glossy paper really shines (no pun intended). Also, keep in mind that all my printing tests were done with the included 4-color cartridge. Lexmark actually provides support for an optional 6-color photo cartridge, which I imagine would make photos appear with an even higher quality. Now with all that said about the quality, the speed is a bit lacking. If you want to get a decent print speed out of the X7675 (32 ppm black and 27 ppm color), then you have to print in draft mode. In addition, whether you use draft mode or not, the printer can take a bit of time just getting a print job started. Now for me this isn’t a problem because I can wait for prints. I'd rather have great quality than high print speeds, but if you're using the X7675 for a large amount of business work, then this may be an issue for you. The X7675 is specifically designed for small business and home use.
Adding to the great quality, the X7675 provides a myriad of printing options. Because of the wireless connectivity, you can print from any computer on your network. Also provided is a built-in memory card reader so you can print directly from most memory card formats, as well as PictBridge-compatible digital cameras and USB flash drives. This includes printing pictures as well as Microsoft Office documents and PDF files. And when printing from a device you can use the built-in 2.4-inch color display on the control panel to view pictures before printing. A favorite feature of mine is the automatic two-sided printing, which means no more wasting paper or having to turn the paper over manually – this extremely useful! And of course a wide variety of media sizes are supported.
Copying and Scanning with the Lexmark X7675
The X7675 provides 1-touch, PC-free copying (both black and color) with the option for reduction/enlargement from 25% to 400%. A couple of things to note is that you can only load up to 100 sheets of paper at a time, so you'll have reload the paper supply when copying/printing more than 100 pages. In addition, you may find the output tray to be a bit small. The tray provides an extension to hold printed pages, but it's not quite long enough and sometimes pages can go flying onto the floor.
When scanning with the X7675, you can do it with 48-bit color depth or 16-bit grayscale and an optical resolution up to 600 x 1200 dpi. There's a 25-page auto document feeder for single-sheet scans and a flatbed scanner for books, etc. If you hooked up via wireless network, you can scan to any PC that's connected and you can even save scans to a USB flash drive. Once scanned, you can use the included software to manipulate your documents and photos. The included photo editor is very basic so you'll probably want something more substantial to work with your photos. A nice touch is the ability to scan documents to PDF files, which can save a lot of time. And the Web Toolbar lets you save paper by fitting web pages to print without runoff. The X7675 also includes OCR capabilities so you can convert text documents into editable text automatically. The OCR is handled by a bundled version of ABBYY 6 Express, which works quite nicely although it's an older version of the software (the current version is 9 and the upgrade costs about $45).
Faxing with the Lexmark X7675
When faxing with the X7675 you have access to the same 25-page auto document feeder mentioned earlier. Both black and color faxing are supported with a 33.6 Kbps modem speed. The control panel provides buttons for dialtone, redial, and a number keypad. You can program in 99 speed dials, setup an automatic redial, block junk fax numbers, and read caller ID. What I really like is the support for seamless integration with an answering machine. You simply set up the proper number of rings on both devices and the printer automatically detects when there is a fax or not – no more having to manually answer faxes.
Productivity and Fun with the Lexmark X7675
I have to say that Lexmark has really gone out of their way to create an all-in-one that truly lives up to that moniker. Not only do you get printing, faxing, scanning, and copying in one machine, but also wireless connectivity and high-quality photo printing, which is normally not found in most AIO devices. Granted there may be an issue with print speed for some users, but as I said earlier, the X7675 is not meant to be a heavy-duty business printer. The product was created for small business and home use. In those environments, it performs extremely well. I would go as far as to say that it fits perfectly into the home office niche. The Lexmark X7675 will not only make you more productive, but will allow you to have fun with your photography and it will do it for a price you won't find elsewhere.