Lexmark MC3426i Colour MFP laser printer – economy and speed (review)

The Lexmark MC3426i colour MFP laser printer is 24ppm with low per-page costs, auto double-sided print and scan, and fits into a compact desktop space. It is ideal for workgroups or those that need colour.

Now colour is not always a priority, so if you can get away with mono read Lexmark MB3442i Mono MFP laser printer is very fast (review) 9.2/10 where print costs are a fraction of a cent, and 40ppm makes print jobs disappear even faster.

Colour (L) and Mono (R)

Are lasers being eaten by inkjets?

In 2020 printer sales were about 100 million. COVID related component and supply chain issues saw about a 20% drop in 2021.

Colour inkjets are rapidly growing in the consumer space, particularly the more expensive to purchase ink tank type, which has lower running costs. Even so, nothing beats the laser’s saturated colour and print water resistance.

Lexmark has a government/business/healthcare focus – that is why you won’t see it at most electronics retailers. According to enlyft in the US, it is #2 with 19% of the commercial market with #1 Epson (28%), #3 Konica Minolta (15%) and #4 HP (10%). Lasers are set to stay, at least for enterprise use.

Regardless of the stats and sources, lasers, particularly small business colour lasers with MFP functions, are booming.

Lexmark MC3426i Colour MFP laser

WebsiteSmall-to-Medium and SOHO range and Product page
Price$699 with starter toner (plus delivery costs) There is also a C3326dw with the same print engine but no multi-function
FromLexmark approved computer specialist and Harvey Norman
Warranty1-year Express exchange
Country of OriginChina
CompanyLexmark is a privately owned US company based in Lexington, Kentucky, formed in 1991 to buy out the IBM printer, typewriter and keyboard business.
MoreCyberShack printer news and reviews

First impression – very well made

You can tell this is a business-class – solid build, oversized feed rollers, metal chassis, liberal use of high impact polycarbonate and 19.4kg (most lower-cost lasers are half that weight).

Duplex print and scan usually are the province of more expensive printers.

Brief Lexmark MC3426i Colour MFP laser specs

MFPPrint, scan, copy (no fax)
Control7.2cm touch screen
Speed24ppm A4 single-sided with the first page out in 11 seconds (Test: Pass)
Test: 10 pages in 30 seconds – 3 seconds per page (Pass)
Duplex PrintTest: 5 pages (10 sides) in 60 seconds  – 6 seconds per page
Resolution600 x 600 or 4800 x 600 in high-quality mode
ADF/copyDuplex scan and flatbed up to 90/40 ppm mono/colour (A4 duplex is half that)
Paper250 sheet tray 1, 100 sheet multi-purpose feeder, optional 250 sheet tray 2 and tray 3
CommsUSB-B 2.0, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB-A port for direct print
Noise<55dBA
Size344.4 (H) x 411.2 (W) x 394.1 (D) x 19.4kg
CompatibleWindows, macOS, Linux/Unix
AppsMopria, Apple AirPrint, Lexmark Mobile Print App, Cloud connect to Box, DropBox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive. Wi-Fi direct
EnterpriseEmbedded security and works with most management systems. Lexmark Universal Print Driver for most Lexmark devices. PCL and Postscript support
Duty cycle750-5000 pages per month

Setup

Download the drivers, connect to Wi-Fi/Ethernet/USB, and that is it. SysAdmins will appreciate the ease of integrating it into the printer fleet, and it finds all Lexmark printers and installs. You can adjust any setting via the touch screen.

Web server access via its IP address also has every imaginable setting available. You can import a config file, rename the printer, add asset tag/location, set up email logs and sanitise all information in its memory.

There is also a Lexmark Assistant for Android and iOS apps. It covers scanning and printing (text, photo, web) and discovers all network printers – not just Lexmark. Easy to use for mobile print.

Fax – cloud-only

This model does not have a PSTN phone line for fax, but you can subscribe to a cloud Fax service that enables send and receive of faxes.

Scan – my it is fast and double-sided!

Lexmark claims 90 A4 pages scanning in mono (Text mode 300 DPI), which is fast, and colour scanning is half that speed. You can select Text, Text/Photo, Photo and Graphics (increasing resolution and decreasing scan speed). It can scan to computer, network storage, email, FTP and more.

The scanner is well made with oversize rollers to handle various paper types and weights. Its duplex scanning is one pass (two scan heads), which increases reliability.

Print quality – superb

Text is crisp and jet-black as only a laser can. Colour photos are even – no banding or blotching. We tested with a variety of paper stocks and envelopes. Tray one will handle up to 100gsm stock, and the manual feed is for up to 200gsm stock.

Print costs – typical laser costs

There are two user-replaceable parts: the toner/drum unit and the waste toner bottle.

Toner comes in C, Y, M, K (four) High Yield (4500 pages). You can also get 1500 page yield toners, but the price per page jumps. The advantage of a laser is that replacement units give you a near new unit.

Toner price varies, so we use Inkstation.com.au as a reference.

  • Extra-High Yield CMYK set 4500 pages $667 or 15 cents a page. Note that each toner is individually replaceable, and page cost depends on the percentage of colour and mono on each page.
  • Single Black K cartridge rated for 3000 pages is $166 or 5.5 cents per page.
  • Waste toner 15,000 pages $30.82 or .185 cents per page

Lexmark also operates a spent toner return program (LCCP) to reduce costs.

Power

Lasers consume more power than inkjets. Like inkjets, they should be left on all the time. Typical energy use (as defined by Energy Star) is .37 kilowatt-hours a week. At around 25 cents per kWh, that’s about nine cents a week.

CyberShack view – Lexmark MC3426i Colour MFP laser printer is very fast and low cost

After reviewing an item, we read other reviews to see if they generally concur with our findings. On the whole, international reviewers loved it.

But Choice (that we respect enormously) called it a laser to avoid. “The highs: super-fast printing, excellent networking capability, pretty good scanning. The lows: abysmal print quality (scoring just 43%), underwhelming copying capabilities, a yawn-worthy 95 seconds from power on to printing, high annual ink/toner costs and only rated OK for ease of use.”

We did not experience any of the negatives. Print quality was superb, time to print (11 seconds) is class average, and print speeds in duplex and single-sided were fast and accurate. The review date was April 2021, and we suspect that firmware updates (the latest is 11 January 2022) and driver updates (27 September 2021) cured any early production foibles it may have had.

If you read reviews before October 2021, it is safe to ignore them as this review found no evidence of earlier issues.

Its build quality is evident, and its print speed and quality are superb. Double-sided print and scan are fantastic features at this price.

But the thing that really stands out is value. $699 to purchase a colour laser with full-duplex print and scan is terrific. And print costs are so low you won’t care.

This is hard to beat if you want a colour, fast, reliable, small office or workgroup laser.

Would I buy the Lexmark MC3426i?

After seeing the print quality on plain paper (compared to an inkjet), its small footprint and duplex print and scan, my answer is a definite yes.

Photo Gallery

Please see our MB3442i gallery here.

Lexmark MC3426i Colour MFP laser printer

$699
9.2

Features

10.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Perfornance

9.0/10

Ease of use

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Duplex print
  • Duplex one-pass scan – no speed loss
  • Well made with a metal chassis – a keeper
  • Reasonable class average colour print costs
  • Can add two more paper trays

Cons

  • Do you need colour or would mono be a better option


Post Horizontal Banner

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.