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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lexmark Color Printer for $299 - Read This Before You Buy

I recently purchased a Lexmark C522 Color Laser Printer. Sounded like a great deal at the time, but it appears it was too good to be true. Now I'm thinking I may never buy a Lexmark again.

The C522 got favorable reviews, in some cases better than the comparable Hewlett-Packard C3600. The 3600 costs around $599; the Lexmark C522 is on special right now on a few sites like for $299.

I have a black and white HP LaserJet that I bought in January 2000 and I use it all the time. The extent of maintenance over 7 years: replace the toner. The thing works just as great today as it did 7 years ago.

But that $300 savings was enough to get me to try a Lexmark. It did not take long, however, to discover a major shortcoming in the Lexmark: it seems it does not print OpenType fonts. [See the previous post(Installing New Fonts, Continued: What's the Difference Between TrueType, PostScript and OpenType Fonts?) for a quick rundown on OpenType fonts.]

I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with Lexmark tech support, and they were no help at all. So I guess I should say I wasted an hour and a half.

The tech guy actually suggested that the problem is due to the fact that I need to buy more memory for the printer before it will recognize OpenType fonts.

The printer comes with 128MB of memory. My 7 year old HP LaserJet has 8MB of memory, and it recognizes OpenType fonts just fine!

So the tech guy is either woefully misinformed and making up pseudo-solutions on the spot, or I bought a printer that requires me to buy an accessory in order to do something every new printer should be able to do right out of the box. And, Lexmark memory cards start at around $200!

I'm still waiting to hear back from tech support. It's a simple question: does the C522 print OpenType fonts or not?

I know enough about how printers work to know that memory is not the cause. OpenType fonts are usually about 50KB in size. You can get a whole lot of 50KB fonts into 128MB of memory.

Lexmark, you have not heard the last from me! I'm all about Word of Mouth Marketing and the BUZZ that comes with it.


  • I can confirm this issue.

    I bought one of these things in the UK from some crowd called Printerbase Ltd (I would suggest avoiding them as they refuse to take back faulty goods). Sure enough it will print all the 'embedded' fonts and the old truetype .ttf style ones but it won't print OpenType at all.

    Also confirm Lexmark customer supports inability to give satisfactory answer to the question "Does the C522N printer print OpenType fonts, Yes or No?"

    If you are a graphics design professional or looking for cross platform compatability chances are you will use lots of .otf fonts: I would recommend avoiding this printer. It might appear cheap but that's because it doesn't do a proper job.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

  • Yes, Lexmark is a bad choice. For those using mac anyway. I have just bought new Lexmark E120 working fine on my PC (still with Win XP), but it does not work on my brand new macbook. Though it should since Lexmark support team say their product is mac OS supported. I did all i could to make it work. Now, after a month since buying Lexmark, I know 2 things:
    -I will only use my Lexmark on PC
    -I will never buy Lexmark again

    Dimitrij Djokic

    By Blogger Dimitrij, at 6:42 AM  

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