Design and Build
This tall, grey printer measures 43.5 x 40 x 45.5 cm, for a weight of 25.6 kilos. The commands are done via a comfortable and responsive 10.9 cm touchscreen, a numerical keypad and a handful of physical buttons. The interface is simple, clear and user-friendly. The 512 MB of standard RAM allow for convenient Ethernet sharing within a group of 50 co-workers. While it features double-sided printing and PS3 and PCL6 compatibility, you can forget about Wi-Fi and card readers.
There's only one 550-sheet paper tray in the standard configuration, but extra trays can be added for businesses that print on multiple paper types. With the additional trays the maximum capacity jumps to 4,300 sheets.
Take a look inside and you'll see that the four colour toner slots are rather bulky, taking up most of the machine's height.
Lexmark is advertising 33 pages per minute (ppm) in both colour and B&W. Our results were slightly different: 23 ppm in colour and 60 ppm in B&W, in standard mode. That's fast. In comparison, the Dell 5130cdn, which currently holds the record among the colour laser printers we've reviewed, prints 46 ppm in colour and B&W. The Samsung CLP-325W prints 4 ppm in colour and 15 ppm in B&W, although it's in an entirely different price range.
To the eye, this printer deserve a 5-star rating for its print quality. In the image below, the shading is perfect and the contours of the letters very well traced. There's no doubt about it, we are in the presence of a quality printer.
However... our testing procedure is more exacting than our eyes, and with our new testing criteria the C748de's rating falls to 4 stars. Here's why. When you look in closer detail, you notice that the final result does often lack precision, as you can see in our test chart squares below.
We took our measurements using the default settings. You can, however, optimise the amount of energy it consumes by changing how long the printer waits before going into sleep mode, or the touchscreen's brightness. With the screen lit up it consumes 36 W of electricity, which is incredibly high!
And 7 watts in sleep mode is just as high! We haven't seen figures like that in years. Most laser printers consume 3 or even 1 watt in sleep mode. That clearly is going to affect this machine's rating. During printing the C748de consumes 650 W, which is average for laser printers.
With a 54 dB picked up on our sound level meter, the Lexmark C748de is unfortunately not a quiet printer.
Cost Per Page
Cost per page: 8.1 pence.
The cost per page, as calculated using returnable high capacity cartridges (the most cost-effective option for the consumer), is 8.1 pence. That's really low. Try comparing this to some other colour laser printers out right now: the HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color M451nw gets 14.5 pence per page, 2.6 p of which are for black, and the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7018C gets 21.9 pence per page, 4.1 p of which are for black. In terms of cost per page, the Lexmark C748de is one of the better laser printers we've reviewed lately.
Cost per page using returnable high capacity cartridges:
|Cartridge||Price (starting at)||ISO lifespan||Cost per page|
|C746H1KG (black)||£213||12000||1.8 pence|
|C748H1CG (cyan)||£207||10000||2.1 pence|
|C748H1MG (magenta)||£207||10000||2.1 pence|
|C748H1YG (yellow)||£207||10000||2.1 pence|
- Cost per page
- Double-sided prints, Ethernet
- Additional paper trays (optional)
- PS3 PCL
- Compatible with Windows, Mac & Linux
- High energy consumption during sleep (7 W)
- No Wi-Fi
- No card reader
This is a fast- and hard-working laser printer. It has a competitive cost per page and user-friendly touchscreen. With the responsive display and clear and intuitive interface, buyers will get their money's worth. However, a red card goes to the high amount of energy it consumes in sleep mode.