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Lexmark X5150 All-in-One Print Center

WHAT'S HOT: For quick scans, the Lexmark X5150 left most of its multifunction printer (MFP) competitors in the dust. Scans of 4-by-5 color prints at 100 dpi, for example, took only about 18 seconds. The X5150 scanned a 2-by-2 color print at high resolution in just over 40 seconds. The unit also finished second in color printing speed, bested only by the Canon MultiPass MP730.

This MFP is one of the few networkable devices in the roundup. An optional $100 network interface card lets you connect and share the printer on your home or office network.

WHAT'S NOT: Unfortunately, image quality is not the X5150's strong suit. It earned the lowest score for scan quality among all units in our June 2003 roundup, and it landed in the middle of the pack for print quality. Our judges rated its copy quality Good.

WHAT ELSE: The X5150 includes Abbyy's FineReader OCR engine, which is well integrated with the main software interface, making it easy to access and use. Though the MFP doesn't offer stand-alone faxing capability, it does include BVRP Software's FaxTools, which lets you use your PC's fax modem to fax documents.

Upon installation, the Lexmark driver detects most of the graphics and productivity applications on your computer. It lets you scan graphics or text documents directly into your choice of applications. And if it misses a program in your lineup, you can always add the app manually to the MFP's application menu. These setup tasks are easy to do, and the setup routine worked most of the time in our hands-on testing.

UPSHOT: The Lexmark X5150 is one of the most affordable networkable MFPs in this roundup. Though the quality of prints and scans leaves something to be desired, the unit satisfies basic print, copy, and scan needs with impressive speed. By Roy Santos

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