business

Lexmark E322n

The E322n's low price and simple controls provide small workgroups with an easy way to share a printer

WHAT'S HOT: This is the least expensive monochrome laser printer that comes with an ethernet interface as standard equipment. In most ways the E322n is similar to Lexmark's E320, but with the addition of the ethernet port and with 16MB of memory instead of the E320's 4MB. Given the E322n's $599 price tag, diminutive size, and simple control panel, it is a practical choice for a workgroup.

WHAT'S NOT: The E322n has most of the same shortcomings as Lexmark's E320: a poorly documented installation process; a duplex command that doesn't work under Windows 98 or ME; and a toner door guaranteed to scrape your knuckles when you remove the cartridge. Plus, the limited paper capacity--only a minor concern in the single-user version of the printer--would be a serious problem for a network machine. Count on spending the extra $155 to boost paper capacity from 150 sheets to 400.

WHAT ELSE: Installing the E322n is fairly straightforward despite the inadequate documentation. Lexmark provides drivers for a whole passel of Linux and Unix OSs.

UPSHOT: The E322n is about the least costly way to put a laser printer on your ethernet LAN, but even with the optional paper tray the paper capacity may be too limited for many workgroups.

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