Lexmark's new color inkjet printer is fast but flawed

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September 05, 2002|By Kevin Washington

Lexmark International has been the king of inexpensive printers for the past few years. But with the Z65 Color Jetprinter ($180), Lexmark has gone upscale - with mixed results.

The Z65 has a few things going for it. It easily connects to your computer via a Universal Serial Bus cable (which is not included). It can produce prints with resolutions up to 4,800-by- 1,200 dots per inch on glossy paper and 4,800-by-600 dpi on plain paper. It produced solid black-and-white documents in draft mode at 10 to 12 pages per minute in our tests - good performance for an inkjet.

I also liked the Z65's dual, top-feeding paper trays, which enable you to load two types of media at once.

That's where the good news ends. The Z65's color prints weren't nearly as color-accurate or detailed as those from the similarly-priced Epson Stylus C80. Skin tones were awful from the Z65 on some photo papers we tried.

Worse, paper feeding from the upper tray jammed frequently once I put in more than 10 sheets of lighter stock - the tray is rated for 100 sheets. I couldn't figure out any way to position the paper to keep the problem from recurring. The lower tray had no problems.

Given its price in a market that offers great bargains elsewhere, the Z65 doesn't impress nearly as much as it should.

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