DESIGN & BUILD
The MX410de's dimensions (47 x 40 x 47 cm) make it compact, and at just 20 kg, two hands should suffice to get the printer out of the box and onto a table. The finishing inspires confidence with its sturdy, high-quality plastics.
Between printing, scanning, copying and faxing, colour printing may be the only function this printer doesn't have. It comes with 512 MB of memory, enough for convenient sharing within a group of 20 people. Instead of a card reader, it has a USB 2.0 port in the front for reading PDFs and other formats straight from USB-compatible devices. The "de" in the model name stands for double-sided printing ('d' for duplex) and Ethernet ('e' for Ethernet). It supports most printer languages, including PCL 5, PCL 6 and PostScript 3; and operating systems (Mac, Linux, Windows). It's also jam-packed with network security and network management protocols.
All commands go through the 11-cm colour touchscreen shown below. Navigating through the different options is fast, easy and enjoyable. Same goes for the virtual keyboard: it's precise, responsive, comfortable to type on. The advantage of the touchscreen is that it simplifies the front control panel and makes the MX410de an all-around user-friendly device.
Control panel and 11-cm touchscreen
The standard paper tray is well thought-out and easy to use. You just adjust the tray to the paper size you want to print, and it's ready. If 250 sheets aren't enough, you can add a second tray of 250 or 500 sheets. The optional second tray is always a useful addition for companies that print high volumes or that prefer to separate letterhead from ordinary paper.
Adjustable paper tray
To access the toner, the lid opens up in front (shown below). Remember to shake the toner before inserting.
We take our measurements using the default settings, but they can also be fine-tuned to get the results you're looking for. The preferences window is easy to understand and offers lots of options. You just flip through the different tabs to choose your settings, select the paper type, enhance the print quality, add watermarks, etc.
Lexmark is continuing its strategy of offering pre-installed and customisable solutions with shortcuts that memorise the actions you take most often. There's also an app for controlling the printer with a smartphone or tablet. For sensitive documents you can set up the machine to authenticate, authorise and monitor all use of the machine.
The MX410de is one fast cookie! We had to penalise it a star in this section for taking too long to print immediately after being turned on (see inset), but otherwise it would have gotten five stars. The Lexmark MX410de is by far the fastest monochrome multifunction printer we've reviewed. In comparison, the Brother MFC-7860DW prints 27 pages per minute, the HP LaserJet Pro M1212nf prints 16 ppm, the Samsung SCX-3405W prints 19 ppm and the Canon i-SENSYS MF4890dw prints 26 ppm.
The print quality is good, but it could be better. For straight text, the MX410de does the trick. But when you put it to the test with a graph and legend with varying shades of grey, that's when you start to see the MX5410de's limits. The lettering in the image below could be more defined.
Interestingly, while blacks look very deep after being printed or copied, the overall accuracy is one of the highest we've seen on this type of printer, with a Delta E of 8.2.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 8.2
SCAN & COPY
The MX410de does colour and duplex network scanning. However, the CIS technology and 600 x 600 resolution are necessarily not going to bring about extraordinary results. This is more of a backup scanner than anything.
For some unexplained reason, while we were testing the copy function, in order to copy 10 documents one after the other we had to update the microcode. Slight setback aside, the copy mode is good because it has a lot of features: resizing, intensity, duplex, and so on. You can even use the eco-friendly mode (app available for download) to reduce your paper and energy consumption.
The 'save shortcut' button allows you to avoid doing the same manoeuvres each time you perform a given action. Certain icons are set up to save precise, user-defined actions, the goal being to save time and simplify tasks. All shortcuts can be deleted or modified as you see fit.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 9.2
POWER USE & NOISE
The Lexmark MX410de consumes more power than it should on standby (5 watts, where most of the latest generation of laser printers consume 1 watt). While on and running the energy consumption is more reasonable, if not low, for a laser multifunction.
At 56 dB while at work, it's a relatively loud printer. Quiet mode reduces the noise, but it also slows down the print speed.
COST PER PAGE
Lexmark 602H is a long-duration toner with a cartridge return programme. They can be bought at specialty retailers for £200, and yield 10,000 pages. There's also a standard-size version, the 602. The 602 costs just £80, but yields only 2,500 pages—it costs less to purchase, but with the higher cost per page you end up spending more in the long run.
The toner that comes in the box lasts 5,000 pages.