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-- by Joel T. Patz
Lexmark is taking a decidedly different approach in an effort to win over those who need high-quality monochrome and photo-realistic color output.
The Lexmark 7000 Color Jetprinter's softly rounded shape distinguishes it from the angular models offered by the competition. More importantly, this electro-thermal based printer directly challenges the Epson Stylus Color 800 on our WinList. Measuring 12 by 17 by 10.5 inches and weighing 9.5 pounds, the 7000 is slightly smaller and lighter than the Stylus Color 800.
The 150-sheet vertical input tray adjusts to accommodate a variety of paper sizes, and its mechanism automatically feeds envelopes. A panel on the input tray flips forward for easy paper insertion.
The Lexmark 7000's default print mode (Normal) is 600x600 dots per inch. You can also select 300x300dpi resolution (Draft mode) for higher speed and lower quality or 1200x1200dpi for highest-quality printing. The user interface shows your print job's progress and the fill-level of the color ($34.95) or black ($28.95) cartridges.
In our tests, a 20-page text-only document printed at a remarkable 4.9 pages per minute in Draft mode. Normal mode outputs at 2.9ppm. To prevent black text from smearing in Normal mode, we had to choose the Dry Time Delay option, which adds approximately 25 seconds per page and reduces overall speed to 1.32ppm. At the highest resolution, even high-quality media could not mask the streaking and poor rendition of flesh tones when printing our test files. A 5-by-8-inch color graphic took 4 minutes, 9 seconds.
Despite the Lexmark 7000 Color Jetprinter's $50 price advantage, the Epson Stylus Color 800 is a better printer, offering smear-resistant ink, truer color rendition and superior photo realism.
Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 178.