On the ease of use front, Lexmark's X7675 Professional is ahead of the pack compared to most other wireless all-in-one printers; everything from setting up a Wi-Fi connection to printing documents and photos is fool-proof. Unfortunately, this device's speed falls way short of the competition and its ink is expensive.
Although its matte black-and-silver color scheme is staid, if not dated, the X7675 is at least more compact (18.8 x 14.1 x 8.2 inches) than the similarly colored Canon Pixma MX860 (19.4 x 17.1 x 8.9 inches). The paper loads vertically from a tray in the back, which works well and saves desk space, although it's not as easy on the eyes as theKodak ESP 7'shidden dual paper trays. It also has fewer buttons than the MX860, and all of them are self-explanatory; they include a number pad for faxing, as well as controls for printing, copying, and scanning.
The 2.4-inch LCD is easy to navigate, but seems small compared to other models' in the sub-$200 price category (the ESP7's, for instance, is 3-inches). We do like how the control panel articulates that users can pull it out or pop it in so that it lies flat, depending on which angle is more ergonomic.
The X7675 supports plenty of external media: it has slots for SD, MMC, MC, xD, and CF Cards. It also has a PictBridge port, which means you can connect almost any camera to it directly. Like any other wireless printer, it also has an Ethernet jack. While the jack is tucked away in the back, the memory card slots are easily accessible on the front side.
Lexmark's Wireless Setup Utility, part of the software suite for the PC, made configuring our Wi-Fi connection simple. During the setup, you connect the printer using the included USB cable, select your network, and enter the password on-screen. After that, we were able to unplug the cable and immediately start sending documents to it, sans wires. Once we began printing, we appreciated the on-screen status box, whose progress bar told us what page of the job the printer was working on.
Performance and Print Speeds
We performed several printing tests both over a Wi-Fi network and over a traditional USB connection (you can also use the bundled Ethernet cable to connect it to your router or access point). Our test documents included a two-page Microsoft Word document; a six-page PowerPoint presentation, including photos and colorful graphics; a two-page PDF with lots of fine print; and two photos, printed on both 4 x 6- and 8.5 x 11-inch photo paper.
The X7675 finished dead last among five all-in-ones in our wireless printing speed test. Over Wi-Fi, it took 27 seconds for this device to print our Word document; 4:04 to print the six-page PowerPoint document; and 1:14 to print the PDF. It took 2:21 and a painful 6:05 to print 4 x 6- and 8.5 x 11-inch photos, respectively. On average, the printer took an average of 9 seconds to begin printing. Whereas the X7675's average printing time over Wi-Fi was 2:50, it was just 47 seconds for the Epson WorkForce 600, and 1:01 for the HP Officejet 6500.
These times barely improved, if at all, when we printed the same documents via USB. These tests took 24 seconds (Word doc), 3:51 (PowerPoint presentation); and 1:14 (the PDF file). It took 2:13 and 4:54 to print 4 x 6- and 8.5 x 11-inch photos, respectively. The average start time dropped to 7 seconds, but the X7675 still brought up the rear.
The good news is that the X7675's black-and-white documents looked quite good; they were sharper and easier to read than the Kodak ESP 7's. Unfortunately, the fine print came out so unevenly that it looked like many of the words had been formatted in bold. Our color documents (a PowerPoint presentation, for instance) came out rather streaky.
The photo quality was acceptable. While the Canon Pixma MX860 and Kodak ESP 7 had more balanced exposure, the X7675 still had more accurate colors than the Epson WorkForce 600 or HP Officejet 6500, both of whose prints had a bluish overtone. Aside from slow printing speeds, the X7675 is mainly guilty of producing slightly dark photos. Although our color documents felt heavy after they came out of the printer, they did not smudge.
As we've found in the past, Lexmark's ink refills are expensive. A black cartridge costs $27.99; a tri-color cartridge, $34.99. If you return these cartridges to Lexmark, the prices drop to (a still-expensive) $20.99 and $25.99, respectively. If you opt for photo ink, the cost is $27.99. Compare that to Kodak's black and color refills, which cost $9.99 and $14.99, respectively, and deliver print quality that's as good, and often better. This comes out to 13 cents per black-and-white page, and 17 cents per color page.
In addition to printing, the X7675 scans and faxes wirelessly. It copies, but not sans wires. And when it comes to copying, the X7675's specs are standard: it can make up to 99 copies at a time, and its reduction/enlargement range is 25 to 400 percent. Like other models, its one-touch copying allows users to make copies from the printer without interacting with the PC. Finally, like other all-in-ones, it offers two-sided printing.
The X7675's scan resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi is lower than most other all-in-ones, which have 2400 x 4800 dpi. However, you can use your network connection to scan documents to multiple laptops, or to a USB flash drive, which is useful. The fax machine stores up to 99 speed dials, which is standard. Finally, the paper tray stores 100 document sheets at a time, which is at the lower end of normal (the ESP 7 and the Workforce 600 hold the same amount, although the Officejet 6500 holds 250 sheets).
Software and Warranty
True to its name, Lexmark's Fast Pics software helps users print photos quickly, even if the printing itself takes a long time. Whereas Kodak's AiO Home Center software takes users through a multiple-screen wizard, Fast Pics presents all options--selecting a photo and its print and paper size--on one screen, complete with a large Print Now button. The trade-off is that Fast Pics' icon-based interface is a little less intuitive, and, unlike Kodak's software, it doesn't include any basic editing tools.
By default, the X7675 has a one-year warranty, but if you register the printer the warranty extends to five years, which is long for any consumer electronics product.
Although the Lexmark X7675 produces decent (but not excellent) photos, and its easy wireless setup will come as a relief to less tech-savvy users, its slow speeds and expensive ink refills make it a weak competitor compared to other wireless business-oriented all-in-ones. We prefer the $199 Kodak ESP 7, which is also easy to use, but delivers better photo quality, faster speeds, and inexpensive ink refills.