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-- by Cheryl Dominianni
The Lexmark 2030 Color Jetprinter produces black and color printing at an affordable price. The black is dark and crisp, and the colors are remarkably true.
The Lexmark 2030 is sleekly designed and simple to operate. Interactive on-screen displays control all printer functions, so there are neither buttons nor switches. Since it measures 18.2 by 9.4 by 7.4 inches and weighs 9.5 pounds, it won't eat up much desk space. The rear paper tray holds up to 100 sheets of paper, although special media (heavier paper, envelopes and so forth) must be loaded singly.
Lexmark wisely chose a dual-head design for the ink cartridges-one for color and one for black. The cartridges cost approximately $32 for black and $38 for color, and come with the printer. According to Lexmark, expected yield is 1,300 sheets for black and 240 sheets for color. My color printing was considerably better on Lexmark premium paper, which sells for about $12 a box, than on plain paper.
Printing speed varies greatly according to document type. I was able to print a two-page monochrome Word document in about a minute, while a full-page color print took approximately 8 minutes. Color copies need a little drying time immediately after printing.
Other options available through Windows' printer controls include brightness and contrast adjustment, document type, media type and print quality. Additional printing software (greeting card designer, certificate maker, T-shirt designer, label maker and more) is included on the Lexmark Workshop CD.
The Lexmark 2030 isn't in the same class as the Epson Stylus 500 currently on our Recommended List. However, it would certainly be an excellent choice for its target customer-the student and home user.