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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lexmark Optra T642

I have used the Lexmark Optra T642 for the past year or so when it was donated to me by my uncle. He knew I was setting up in business and wanted to help me in any way he could.

I have to be honest and say I wasn’t that impressed when I first saw the printer. It looked like a tall grey box with a silver control panel and didn’t look much at all. That attitude soon changed once I gave it something to do though.

It prints at 43 pages a minute, which is pretty good for something a couple of years old. Each print was good, really good. I tend to print brochures, booklets and other multi-page literature which are a mix of text, images and graphs. The T642 handles them all with an almost lazy ease. I used to have an old HP machine that seemed to struggle with anything that wasn’t text, but the T642 doesn’t even blink.

Not only does the rate at which they appear not change when a page is a photograph or image heavy, the print quality is excellent too. Some printers have a tendency to band around grayscale images where there is a lot of the same color. No such worries with the T642. It prints images without even blinking and the grayscale images are accurate and almost like their full color original. That’s important when you’re producing prints for other people, even if they are just proofs.

The control panel offers just about everything you need, there is the usual menu system with the circular button allowing you to navigate directionally around it. The other buttons are just start, cancel and things like that. You can also control everything from the driver panel on your PC so don’t have to stand in front of it if you don’t want to. The drivers are pretty complete. They are compatible with all operating systems, so worked with my Mac no problem.

The printer is USB so can’t be networked, which isn’t a problem for me as I only have the one machine, but might be for a busier office or something. It has upgradeable memory, which this one has apparently, the paper drawer holds 250 sheets of legal sized paper which is fed in at the bottom, up through the machine and out of the top facing forwards. The toner cartridges last forever, the standard one lasts 21000 pages, which is a few months for me. The high yield one lasts even longer at 32000 pages.

The T642 is a great printer, and well worth the money. The print quality is excellent, it’s quick and fairly quiet, works for me anyway.