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Unorthodox doesn't always equate with inferior. Despite an output tray that discharges in the rear, the Lexmark CX410 Multifunction Color Laser Printer is far more than a glorified fax machine. And its trayless multipurpose input feeder, which handles just a single sheet at a time, still seems a clever and pragmatic way to save space and improve ease-of use.
Introduced in October, Lexmark's latest CX410-series of laser MFPs combine printing, copying, faxing and scanning, all in brilliant, high-resolution color with a maximum-rated output speed of 32 pages (or copies) per minute and around 11 seconds to first page. Its $699 starting list price and rated duty cycle of 75,000 pages per month place the 410 series squarely in the small-business space. For testing, Lexmark sent the CX410de model, which integrates a duplex unit and lists for $799.
Setting up the CX410 was a fairly standard affair, but we did get a little sidetracked when one of the unit's side panels fell off as we were removing shipping tape and tabs. During the printer's first-time setup routine, the display 4.3-inch color LCD touch panel presented choices for time zone, language, features and for which shortcuts to put on the home screen. This latter feature was of particular interest, and included choices for placing shortcuts to email addresses and FTP servers, as well as the ability to change the on-screen language and quickly access the USB drive (the only option enabled by default).
A single disk carries software and drivers for Mac OS X and Windows. Both present guidance (that can be skipped) for unpacking and first-time printer setup, and both installers are fairly well integrated with their host platforms. At one point during the Mac install, a button was presented to launch Apple's "Print & Fax" System Preference panel, along with directions that were not quite accurate but close enough. The Windows routine got us all the way there, recognizing the networked printer and adding it to Windows as the default. Total software setup time for either platform was about five minutes.