Lexmark P6250 review

£136
Price when reviewed

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sub-£120 devices we saw this month; most of them would make a decent purchase. The P6250 is the exception to the rule and there are a number of reasons to avoid it and opt for the Canon MP130.

The main problem is running costs: you can forget about printing your back catalogue of digital images on the P6250. Combining the photo cartridge with the standard-capacity tri-colour ink cartridge will cost you 44.3p per 6 x 4in photo, compared to the MP130’s 16.1p.

Unfortunately, print quality didn’t impress us either. Grain was all too visible in photos, spoiling their impact. That said, colours were accurate and vivid with authentic-looking skin tones.

We also noticed slight stepping in the greyscale colour ramp on our monochrome test, although this didn’t prove distracting in photos.

There won’t be any savings on mono text documents either. Printing a 5 per cent mono sheet will set you back 4p – more than everything else on test. Characters had a slight fuzziness and lacked the blackness of the HP’s.

Copying documents saw things go further downhill. Even in Normal mode, mono documents had banding and spidery characters. The reason is that the speed difference between Normal and Draft mode was only 1.5ppm, with the former churning out at a sprightly 6ppm.

The front of the P6250 sports a 2.5in colour LCD, bolstering its home photo-lab credentials. Annoyingly, though, the paper-out tray is poor quality, often tipping down under the weight of paper and scattering prints on the floor. At least you’ll know how long you have to wait: the driver has a surprisingly accurate print timer, which could prove useful for long jobs, while the voice prompts let you know when the job is complete or if the paper runs out.

When it came to scanning, the LED-equipped P6250 was reasonably good. A preview was available in just 13 seconds, while an A4 sheet of text scanned at 150ppi in 19 seconds. Quality was average overall, and slight banding was evident in our higher resolution scans. Poor contrast meant details in bright areas were sometimes lost, although few people will regularly scan at such high resolutions.

No fax machine is integrated, but even with the comprehensive array of media card readers the P6250 is simply too expensive to run. When other machines, like the Canon MP130 or HP 2355, offer better quality for less overall outlay, it’s hard to find reasons to buy the Lexmark.

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