The Lexmark 2500 All-In-One: The Right Tool for the Job?

The Job

Small businesses feed off all-in-one printers, but is a sub-$60 Lexmark model up to the rigors of daily small business print, copy, fax and scan operations?

The Tool

Lexmark 2500 All-In-One

Lexmark's 2500 Series All-In-One printer provides an entry-level inkjet printer capable of producing 22 black pages per minute (16 color), 5x7 prints and basic greeting cards and small posters. Included Lexmark Imaging Studio software sweetens the deal by providing basic image editing software.

TechRepublic's Erik Eckel tested the Lexmark 2500. Here's what he found.

The 2500 Series strengths are readily evident:
  • This is a low-cost inkjet printer capable of quick setup
  • The 2500 produces decent print quality that'll prove passable in many small businesses
  • Included software provides a suprising array of features, from red eye reduction to cropping capabilities and even greeting card- and poster-creation software
The 2500 Series also possesses several weaknesses:
  • It's an inkjet, so ink cartridges will require frequent replacement in offices printing more than a few dozen printouts a week
  • Again, it's an inkjet, so the 2500's print quality pales in comparison to laser jet models from HP, Brother and others
  • There's no fax modem included (instead, users must ensure their PC includes a fax modem).
  • The unit ships without a black inkjet cartridge, so plan on adding another $20 or so to the total price if you plan on dedicating a separate black cartridge for printing documents, spreadsheets and other correspondence
The Right Tool for the Job?

Whether the Lexmark 2500 Series is the Right Tool For The Job depends upon a businesses' needs. If all that's required is a simple inkjet printer that's compatible with WindowsVista/XP/2000/NT/98 systems, the 2500 is more than adequate. It can even handle printing envelopes, creating small photos and producing the most basic of marketing materials.

But offices printing more than a few hundred pages a month will want to move up the multifunction chain, possibly all the way to a color laserjet. But, as an all-in-one inkjet priced below $60, the 2500 Series will prove adequate as a desktop printer for many staff members.

View Erik Eckel's Right Tool image gallery for an in-depth visual review of the Lexmark 2500.