The Printer Showcase, Inc., Computers  Supplies & Parts, Marietta, GA
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In Short: The new Lexmark CS720de and CS725de are their latest color lasers for the office desk-top color printer category. The CS720de /CS725de series share a new engine and controller and are rated at up to 40PPM and 50PPM respectively for color or B&W.  The new engine is coupled with a 1.2 GHz processor, fast Ethernet, and 1GB RAM by Lexmark for decent overall performance.  The new Lexmark model did well on our simple documents speed tests, but on larger and more complex color print jobs, it was often the slowest. This was especially evident when printing in high resolution. On the plus side, during normal operation, it was the quietest of the models in this price-performance range. Set up was straight forward. The four box-like toners that are included install under a hatch on the top right of the printer. Installing the Lexmark CS720de /CS725de series on our network was quick and the printer’s touch screen also displays its’ IP address at all times. The new CS720de /CS725de series will print up to a resolution of 1200x1200 dpi and overall the print quality we produced in our testing was good.  Like most laser printers it had no problem with black and white documents which looked great even on large solid black areas. Color documents also looked good and color gradients were smooth but in our side-by-side testing the colors between magenta and purple seemed limited. Overall, the print quality is more than adequate for any office application.

Both the Lexmark CS720de and CS725de offer a high-yield black toner, and for the CS725 only, there are high-yield color toners also available. However, the operating cost is still relatively high even when factoring only the high yield toners. Both the CS720de /CS725de include a 550-sheet feeder and a 100-sheet MP feeder, but the output capacity is limited to 300 sheets. Meaning 300 pages would be the maximum for an uninterrupted print job.  Both configurations include PS3 & PCL emulations, USB 2.0, Ethernet 10/100/1000BaseT, and auto-duplex for automated two-sided printing. Other available options include additional paper feeders (up to 3), 2 GB RAM, and internal HD.

The Bottom Line: The new Lexmark CS720/CS725de is a sleek and quiet desktop color laser printer with good print quality. The processing lag on complex jobs along with the high operating cost are the deterrents for users in this performance class. These printers play nice on both the current Mac and Windows operating systems.

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