My First and Last Lexmark...
I will never buy Lexmark again…
None that I can think of.
I first purchased this printer some years ago because I had heard some good things about it from coworkers and friends. Since I worked at Target (back then), I decided to purchase it from there and also get the mere ten percent discount (which only saved me on the tax). I paid about $130 for this unit and I was very happy with my purchase in the beginning but that changed when I started getting annoyed by the paper jams and crooked prints.
After using the Lexmark x75 All-In-One Printer for about a year and a half, I finally got tired and decided to buy the HP OfficeJet 7310 All-In-One to rid the pain of constant paper jams, lousy print quality, and crooked prints. I was so upset with this printer that I decided that I would not purchase another Lexmark ever; I did keep that promise to myself.
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE INSTALLATION
Hardware setup was fairly simple if you follow the steps on the hardware setup guide. It took me about 10 to 15 minutes to unpack and set up the unit and connect it to my computer.
The software installation is quick and easy. Once the drivers are installed you may need to restart your computer to finish the setup process, but sometimes it will not require a restart. All of the drivers and software that gets installed with the CD helps control every feature of the printer from your computer.
I could never find, download, or install updates for the software. One time I did find an updated driver but after I installed it, the printer stopped working, so I had to uninstall everything and start all over from the beginning. I think Lexmark has to start updating their software and drivers to keep their machines working properly.
DESIGN AND CONTROLS
The amount of desk space the Lexmark x75 takes is not very big at all. As per the specification, the x75 is 15.01 inches in width, 14.22 inches in depth, and 8.71 inches in height. It weighs only about 10 pounds (9.92 lbs to be exact) whereas my new HP OfficeJet 7310 only weighs a whopping 26.2 pounds.
When it comes to the controls and buttons, all I can say is that there could have been some more buttons and maybe an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen to make it easier and simpler to use. There are only five buttons on the control panel of this machine (five buttons on a machine that cost me $130). The best way to find out what each button does and how to use them is to read the manual which provides a lot of information with some details and some pictures.
The buttons are Power, Paper Feed, Scan, Color Copy, and Black Copy. Also, there are two lights; one for the power and the other for the status. I do not like using the scan and copy buttons because it does not allow me to select the quality and type of contents being scanned or copied. I usually make copies or scan by using the installed software which allows me to choose the settings I want.
The paper feeder is located on the top which gave me a lot of crooked prints and also caused a lot of paper jams. I found this information from an HP representative visiting a store I was at some time ago. I can also confirm this from experience with the HP OfficeJet 7310 (a paper feeder is on the bottom) because it has always provided me with great prints with jamming.
One of the most useful features of this unit is the flatbed scanner which is not that fast but is accurate enough for good quality photo scanning. I have scanned my old or damaged photos with this printer at the maximum resolution and the results are good (at the max resolution the speed is very slow).
The user manual is very simple to read and comprehend. I think Lexmark did spend some time writing this manual because as far as I am concerned, it is somewhat idiot-proof. It is very helpful and informative, but they could have gone into a bit more detail.
If you are someone who has the crazy need-for-speed from everything, well guess what, you are looking at the wrong thing. The maximum speed for black prints and copies is about 11 pages per minute. For color prints and copies, it is around 6 pages per minute. These speeds were not bad when I purchased this unit, but for today’s world, everything needs to be fast or even faster.
Printing photos takes a little more than two minutes per every 4 x 6 page set at the highest quality. At normal quality, it takes about a minute for the same paper size. If you are like me and want to print everything with high quality and want them quick, I would suggest using something higher scale like my HP OfficeJet 7310 All-In-One.
OPERATIONS WITH A COMPUTER
The installed software guides you step by step to print what you want and how you want it. I did not really like to use the software but it was all I had to make this printer work. I mostly used Windows XP Pro built-in photo printing capabilities to almost fulfill my photo printing needs. But I still needed something better both in software and hardware. So when it comes to managing your photo library, Adobe Photoshop Album leads the pack. All of the utilities and software that comes in the driver CD-Rom are good and helpful but they are just not powerful enough to manage my 5000 plus pictures efficiently.
Lexmark provides a one-year limited hardware warranty. You can visit lexmark.com or dial (800) 332-4120 to get detailed warranty information and support. You will be asked for the printer’s model and serial numbers which can be found by following instructions in the manual.
Printing photos the way I wanted to with this unit was a pain in the neck. First I had to get the right paper, and set the setting correctly, and make sure it will not be crooked when it is feed. I had wasted a lot of paper trying to get the best quality possible with this printer. Now after you get all of this right, you will have to live with the poor quality prints. Even with all settings at high, the quality is still poor; you will be able to see streaks in each print.
PRINTING EVERYTHING ELSE
Printing everything else was easy enough; just set the quality setting to normal and forget about it. Even though the quality is not as good as laser prints, but it was good enough for school and personal use.
Purchasing ink cartridges for this Lexmark x75 will probably cost you an arm every time. Even though this is an old unit the ink cartridges are still expensive. Here is a list of all the cartridges that this unit is compatible with:
- #16 / 10N0016 Black Print Cartridge
- This cartridge is your regular cartridge for black prints. Cost: $29.99
- #26 / 10N0026 Color Print Cartridge
- This cartridge is your regular cartridge for color prints. Cost: $32.99
All of the ink cartridges are easy to install and replace; all you have to do it open the cover and pull the cartridge out and replace it. The costs listed above are manufacture suggested but if you want a good deal, I would suggest purchasing combo packs from Costco. You can save a buck or two on each cartridge if you purchase from Costco but these are still more expensive then cartridges fro my new HP OfficeJet 7310 All-In-One.
I had a lot of problems printing with this printer, but it did help me a lot with school work. All text prints are nowhere close to laser-quality but good enough for school.
All text prints I made were either normal or draft quality but had to switch to the best quality to make it look somewhat closer to laser quality. I always had to use higher quality for my text needs when I needed to print something for school projects.
Graphics and Text Prints
Whenever I printed graphics and text together, like a web page or something similar, I just have to print at normal quality. At normal quality, the prints are clear but not quite close to laser quality. At draft setting, the printing is faster but the print is lighter because it uses less ink.
I have printed a lot of photos (my wedding pictures) and I have also wasted a lot of ink and paper with this printer. This all-in-one produces good quality pictures if I got lucky.
PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT
The manual suggests some useful tips on how to maintain your Lexmark x75 printer, but there are some things you learn to do by using the unit every day.
Maintaining as per the manual
The manual provides you some information on how to clean the unit inside and out. It also shows how to check the ink level and perform self-tests.
My own experiences
I have come to find out the hard way that when you do not use your printer for a long period of time, the ink on the bottom of the ink cartridge will tend to dry out and you will have to clean or wipe it with a soft cloth or something So the best way I found to reduce this is to use the printer often and keep an eye on the ink cartridges.
Dust does tend to collect over time so it is best for the printer and it performs that you clean the exterior and the interior once a month. Follow the instructions in the manual.
I had used the Lexmark x75 for about a year and a half before I replaced it with my new HP OfficeJet 7310xi. I am much happier with my new HP than I was with the Lexmark because the x75 gave me a lot of trouble before I got tired of it. I was not fully satisfied with its features and abilities and I do not regret getting rid of it. I am glad I made this investment and purchased my new HP OfficeJet 7310.