Review: Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro5500

Our score: 5/5
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Published: June 20, 2012 9:00 AM
By Marine Goy / Yoan Ficadière
Translated by: Hugh Ehreth
The OfficeEdge Pro5500 is an all-in-one inkjet colour printer for small and medium-sized businesses with printing volumes of 500 to 1,500 pages per month. It is the mid-range instalment in Lexmark's OfficeEdge series. With new printheads and cartridges, Lexmark is advertising professional-quality prints, high speeds, half the cost per page and lower ink and paper consumption.

Design & Build5/5



The OfficeEdge Pro5500 is sober, yet elegant, and runs the gamut of features. Like its predecessors, it features a touchscreen and online capability that enable it to perform tasks without even the use of a computer via a wide range of apps that can be downloaded from Lexmark SmartSolutions. This compact printer (30 x 50 x 42.7 cm / 16 kg) performs each of the functions you expect from an all-in-one: printing, copying, scanning and faxing, with a double-sided printing option for each. The 126 MB of standard memory allow for convenient sharing within a group of 20 employees, and the PCL and PostScript support make it compatible with most computing environments.

P1060035
Touchscreen: 1 cm (diagonal)
 
Not only does the touchscreen un-clutter the machine, it also makes it extremely user-friendly. The standard tray can fit 300 sheets and an additional 550-sheet tray can be added to increase the load or separate different paper types: Bristol, envelopes, labels, ordinary A4, transparencies, transfer paper, photo paper, thick matte paper and so on.


P1060038(1)
Paper tray and ink cartridge slots (right of the tray)

The ink cartridge slots are conveniently located at the front of the machine, and the SD card readers and USB port on the front panel allow you to print straight from a memory card or USB key without even touching a computer.


Print Speed5/5



The OfficeEdge Pro5500 starts up quickly (see inset) and prints quickly. Its 14 pages per minute (ppm) are a step below the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus, which prints at 19 ppm, but much higher than, say, the Brother MFC-J430W, which prints only 9 ppm. For black and white prints, the Pro5500 is one of the fastest four-in-one printers on the market.

lexmark OfficeEdge pro5500 PPM

Photographs take 1 minute 11 seconds in A4 format and a mere 23 seconds in 10 x 15. That's fast. In comparison, the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus takes 1 minute 24 seconds for A4 and 40 seconds for 10 x 15.
 


Print Quality4/5


 
The graph in the image below is legible, even in the legend. The sharpness and precision of the lines is worthy of a laser printer. However, in areas of solid colouring the ink droplets remain fairly visible. Using Vizix Pro ink, Lexmark has evidently decided to "push the colours" and make them more flashy. Our sensor picked up extremely high blues, greens and magentas on the colour curve. This choice may please some consumers, but it may also turn off more exacting buyers.

 
Couleur graph

DE 94 std
                       Average delta E 94 (colour difference): 10
                 The higher the bar, the less accurate the colour.
                       The average for printers we've reviewed is 7.
 
The OfficeEdge Pro5500 is a good photo printer. Colour purists will certainly decry the tendency toward green that's slightly visible on colour and B&W prints, but the layperson shouldn't be bothered by it.

Theo couleur

DE%2094%20photo
Average delta E 94 (colour difference): 8.3



Scan & Copy5/5



With the tap of a finger the Pro5500 will scan both sides of a document in 5 seconds and send the file straight to any computer, memory card or e-mail address, or any folder in a local network. It's fast, simple and efficient. You can also save your own scanning profiles.

The copy mode is fast, taking 7 seconds for B&W and 14 seconds for colour. We usually remind our readers that the copy mode on multifunction printers is only worthwhile on text, because the quality with images and photographs is always mediocre. Here, our testing graph shows a surprisingly capable Pro5500 that renders good images with perfectly legible texts, even in legends. This is rare enough to deserve mention.

We always test copiers using in standard mode. However, you can also set the quality, image size, brightness, paper format, contrast and sharpness to your liking.

DE copy(1)
Average delta E 94 (colour difference): 4.6   

 
                                            

Power Use & Noise2/5



This is probably the main part of this printer that needs improvement. During use it consumes a reasonable 33 watts, but in sleep mode it consumes 5 W, which is one of the highest on the market. Most similar printers use less than 1 W in sleep mode. So that's a big yellow card! When the touchscreen is on the printer consumes 10 W.

The only energy saving settings you can change are the number of minutes the printer waits before going into sleep mode (10 minutes is the only option) and the screen's brightness. Most Canon and HP printers offer a wider range of times for the sleep mode option.

Could luck ignoring this printer while it's at work. The 55 dB we measured make the Pro5500 a loud printer.


Cost Per Page5/5



The cost per page is 6 pence using XL ink cartridges. True, it's higher than both the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF, which holds the record at 3.5 pence per page, and the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus, which prints at 5 pence per page, but the OfficeEdge Pro5500 is yet one more example of how inkjets are truly starting to compete with laser printers.

Here are some more prices, just to give you an idea of what's out there: the Canon Pixma MG5350 prints at 9.1 pence per page, the HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-In-One at 10 pence per page and the Lexmark Pro915 at 11.3 pence per page.


Cartridge Price (starting at) ISO lifespan Cost per page
210 XL (black) £28 2500 1.1 pence
210 XL (cyan) £26 1600 1.6 pence
210 XL (magenta) £26 1600 1.6 pence
210 XL (yellow) £27 1600  1.7 pence
5/5 Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro5500 DigitalVersus 2012-06-20 10:00:00

Pros

  • Touchscreen, Wi-Fi
  • Cost per page: 6 pence
  • Fast print speeds
  • Responsive
  • Highly intuitive
  • SmartSolutions apps to download from website
  • Optional second tray

Cons

  • Colour accuracy
  • Power used in sleep mode: 5 W
  • Noise
  • Warranty only lasts 1 year

Conclusion

Fast, efficient and with inexpensive ink, this printer delivers on its marketing claims. It is user-friendly with a highly intuitive touchscreen. The SmartSolutions apps are a real added value and can be downloaded quickly and easily from Lexmark's website.

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