Lexmark X4650

Students on a budget should consider the X4650, but only against the vast raft of other MFDs on the market.


7.3
CNET Rating
6.2
User Rating

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Design
The Lexmark X4650 is a big black monolith of a printer that Lexmark pitches at the home and student market; the basic idea is that this is the unit you'll buy after having a cheap home inkjet, but before breaking out the bigger dollars for either a better photo unit, or a fully fledged SOHO laser.

Big is exactly the right word to describe the X4650; with a footprint of 175x459x331mm and carrying weight of 5.3kg, this is going to make a serious dent in any student's desk. Most of that size is taken up with the scanner array, although you may be slightly disappointed the first time you pop up the lid, as despite its large size, there's a fairly big bezel around the A4-sized scanner plate.

Controls on the X4650 have been kept simple, with direct buttons for copying, scanning and direct photo printing. Unlike a number of MFDs in the AU$100-$200 price space, you won't find a full LCD for photo preview and menu selection duties. Lexmark has instead opted for a simple monochrome LED display, which is fine for menu selections, but means you've got to fall back on printing proof sheets if you're printing from a camera or storage media.

Features
On the print side, Lexmark rates the X4650 as capable of printing up to 25 pages per minute (ppm) in black and 18ppm when colour printing. Those aren't the most extravagant claims we've seen out of a printer vendor, which raised our hopes that they might actually be close to real working conditions — very few claimed figures come close to what we've seen testing with real documents. The scanner on the X4650 is a CIS (Contact Image Sensor) type unit with a claimed resolution depth of 36-bit in colour and 12-bit greyscale.

The other feather in the X4650's cap is wireless printing. This is something that Lexmark's pushing quite hard in most of its printer lines, so it's not surprising to see it here. Wireless support extends to 802.11b/g only, which is reasonable enough. If you've read any of CNET.com.au's reviews of 802.11n equipment, you'd be aware that the promises of that technology still seem a long way off becoming reality, so it's reasonable enough that printer vendors aren't jumping that way yet either.

Performance
Unlike a lot of printers, the X4650 omits a set-up poster. Instead, when you fling the supplied CD into your system, a series of images guides you through unpacking the printer, removing all of the inevitable little bits of tape that hold it together during shipping — we're still wondering why they're necessary, really — and getting print cartridges installed. One feature we appreciated during set-up was that the installer explicitly asked us if we wanted additional software (for OCR, Web printing and so on) installed, rather than just assuming we would and installing it anyway. This kind of opt-in empowers consumers, and also leads to less software kludging up your system if you don't in fact want it.

The X4650 gave us distinctly mixed results when it came to print testing. On the plus side, its basic draft text speed was quite good for a printer in this price range. A single draft document flew out in just under 10 seconds, and we managed a healthy 12ppm for draft documents. Going up to normal coverage dropped the average speed to 8ppm, which is still enough for most home printing needs. Text quality was good throughout, and for most home or student users on a budget, the coverage offered in draft mode would be more than satisfactory.

What was less than satisfactory were the X4650's photo printing capabilities. We tested with the standard four-colour inkjet cartridge supplied with the printer, although a six-colour photo cartridge is also available. We found it somewhat amusing that the utility that Lexmark provides for photo printing is called "Fast Pics", as it neatly sums up what the X4650 isn't capable of. A single 4x6-inch photo, printing over USB to maximise speed and eliminate interference, made its way out in a very leisurely two minutes and 10 seconds. Print quality was only average (although we'd expect more of the dedicated photo cartridge) at best.

Consumers are incredibly spoilt for choice in the MFD space, and if your interests are primarily in throwing out lots of text pages, but budget (or the need for a scanner) keeps you out of the low-cost laser market, then the X4650 is worthy of consideration. If you're a photo fanatic, on the other hand, look elsewhere.

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bjarkig82
2
Rating
 

"Wery dissapointing"

bjarkig82 posted a review   
Other

The Good:Wifi, multifunctional

The Bad:Have to reinstall drivers all the time, bad linux support, bad print quality, horrible software

The only thing that I can use in this printer is the scanner, hough I can only use it with the software that lexmark distributes. The picture quality is not at all good.

What's even more annoying is that I have to reinstall the driver on my windows 7 computers every other time I'm trying to use it. I also have a Linux computer, the linux driver wasn't published untill about a year after I bought the printer and it's like the Windows driver, I have to reinstall it again and again.

 

MikeS2 posted a comment   

As with all Lexmark's it is a disappointment. The software is coagulated, and doesn't work most of the time. My old HP ran on the Windows 7 drivers eliminating the software need. Also the software does not recognize a refilled inkjet forcing you to run out and buy a Lexmark inkjet, (Actually said it was not compatible with the printer). My smaller HP inkjet seemed to last long also. So with black, and color inkjet's the cost will be over $200.00 a year for ink, or more if I start doing photo's.

 

TLA0000 posted a comment   

The Good:appears to have all the features you would want

The Bad:does not PRINT

This printer is horrible, it does not do the one thing a printer needs to do, PRINT!!! It is a worthless block of junk. This is the second lexmark printer I have had and they have both been worthless. Do not waste your money on a lexmark printer. Plus it constantly needs ink.

Laurenrox
1
Rating
 

Laurenrox posted a review   

The Good:Nice design

The Bad:NEVER PRINTS, takes FOREVER, and always says there is a paper jam with no paper in it

Worst printer i have ever used.My mom bought the printer and every time i need to print something for homework, it breaks and i get an F. I HATE THIS PRINTER!!!!!!!!!

Dan
10
Rating
 

Dan posted a review   

The Good:low cost, many features, extra usb port and media card readers, software included is really good

The Bad:none yet

I bought mine at Target for 49.99, there is nothing out there like this that can beat that price! It includes everything you need: Inks, and even the USB cable (some printers make you buy your own cable)

The software included is very easy with advanced options as well for people who like to fine tune their printing/scanning results.
The software is well designed, with no problems/bugs found yet.

The ink cartridges are completely sealed like the HP cartridges so they should not dry out in a week.
I used to own an Epson printer that required a little plastic tab to be punctured on the ink cartridges and this method of delivering ink always made the ink dry up and become useless in just a few weeks (without even printing any documents)

Overall a great experience with this printer from opening the package and setup, to using it to scan photos and printing. Best value product I've ever owned!

Steve
9
Rating
 

Steve posted a review   

The Good:Cheap, Wifi, Screen, Easy to use and setup.

The Bad:Nothing yet!

I realy like this printer, i got it for only $38!!!! Thats cheaper then the ink refills (and it comes with a black and colour cartridge). It also has super easy installations and has a USB, SD and some other slot to use.

 

JayCee posted a comment   

I did not find this printer very easy to use. I would not recommend it to anyone.

 

fschwiet posted a comment   

The Good:it worked for 3 months

The Bad:no longer connects to wireless network

After owning this for 3 months it no longer connects to my wireless network. Other computer connect fine. Its failing to get an IP address, trying to use something in the 169.x range. Lexmark support is a waste of time they want me to spend another couple hours trying to fix it doing things like reboot my machine (I've tried that, thanks). Its now an oversized paperweight.

Derrick
1
Rating
 

Derrick posted a review   

The Good:WIFI

The Bad:Cost of ink. Can't refill cartridges

I liked this printer at first but after 3 months of light use with almost all balck and white documents the black AND color cartridges were empty. I believe this printer purposly wastes ink.

I refilled the cartridges but they're chipped so they can't be reset after a refill. Printer shuts down till you but a new cartridge. It's a complete rip that they force you to buy the overpriced cartridges instead of refilling. Very intrusive. It would cost me $160 a year just to print a few shipping labels a day. I'll never own a Lexmark again.

 

Dos Ocitos posted a comment   

The Good:Easy Setup

The Bad:No Support for failing feature

This wireless printer does not support a 64 character encryption key even though the documentation specifies a 64 character key is allowed. Lexmark support would not address the issue and recommended I use a less secure key.


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User Reviews / Comments  Lexmark X4650

  • bjarkig82

    bjarkig82

    Rating2

    "The only thing that I can use in this printer is the scanner, hough I can only use it with the software that lexmark distributes. The picture quality is not at all good.

    What's even mo..."

  • MikeS2

    MikeS2

    "As with all Lexmark's it is a disappointment. The software is coagulated, and doesn't work most of the time. My old HP ran on the Windows 7 drivers eliminating the software need. Also the software ..."

  • TLA0000

    TLA0000

    "This printer is horrible, it does not do the one thing a printer needs to do, PRINT!!! It is a worthless block of junk. This is the second lexmark printer I have had and they have both been worth..."

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