Lexmark C935dn

For full bleed A3+ printing the Lexmark's C935dn makes its presence felt in more ways than one.

Price
£1,960

Some offices require more than A4 print. Although the majority of business paperwork conforms to this paper size, there are legitimate reasons for printing A3 and even full-bleed A3, aka A3+, in an office. Colour lasers which can handle this twice-A4 size don't come cheap (or small, or light), but they can be used for mainstream A4 print, as well as the larger size, so ticking many more boxes.

Lexmark's C935dn ticks plenty of boxes, as it can handle duplex (double-sided) print, works on networks up to gigabit speeds and is very expandable. When you hear it comes in at under 2,000, it doesn't seem that expensive, either.

Apart from its size, this is a pretty conventional colour laser printer, which feeds from a 520-sheet multi-format tray at the bottom to a deep indentation on its top surface. The laser engine uses four colour toner cartridges and a separate fuser unit, all of which can the accessed from the front of the machine. The toner cylinders, looking something like the control rods in a nuclear reactor, slide in to colour-coded receptacles and twist to lock in place.

The control panel on top includes a four-line LCD display, a fairly standard circle of navigation buttons and a number pad to enter access codes, if required. There's also a USB socket, which works with a memory drive, but not a PictBridge camera, for 'walk-up', direct printing.

As well as the supplied drivers, for both PCL6 and PostScript Level 3 in emulation, there's a useful colour estimator, which counts the numbers of dots of each colour in a given page and gives you a coverage estimate. If you're just about to print 100 full-colour brochures, it's worth knowing what it'll cost.

Lexmark quotes the machine at 45ppm mono and 40ppm colour, which is for A4 pages, but our tests produced a maximum of 25ppm, when we'd removed a 34 second warm-up and timed just the printing. Printing in draft might increase this, but you'd be better thinking of the C935dn as a 30ppm machine in normal use.

One place the printer does print fast is in duplex mode, where our 20-side text document completed in 37 seconds, giving a real-world speed of around 32 sides per minute.

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