The control panel is a little lost in the large area of plastic at the front of the top panel, but includes a backlit, text-based display with navigation controls to the right and a number pad to the right of that. The number pad is so you can print securely, only releasing a network print job once you arrive at the printer. There's a USB socket at the left end of the panel, too, for walk-up printing from a Flash drive. Both these facilities are useful extras in a workgroup machine, assuming your company's security policy permits them.
Cartridge exchange is quick and easy
At the back are sockets for USB 2.0 and 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, and you can add wireless networking as another option. Installation is straightforward, and Lexmark provides PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3 in emulation. A network monitor is included, so you can check printer status from any machine. Drivers are provided for all recent versions of Windows and are available for Mac, Linux and various other operating systems, too.
Lexmark rates the T650DN at 43ppm, which is a fair lick, but in practice you're unlikely to see this. Our five-page text document completed in 15 seconds, giving a speed of 20ppm. Increasing this to 20 pages brings the speed up to 34ppm, over three quarters of the rated speed. Even so, you're going to have to print some pretty big documents to squeeze out that extra 9ppm, or print in draft mode, which few customers do.
Printing the same 20-page document in duplex mode took 44 seconds, a speed of over 27ppm. This shows the efficiency of an external duplexer, as duplexing a document regularly reduces its print speed by half, on machines with internal duplexers. Printing at nearly 80 per cent of the simplex speed should encourage you to set duplex printing as default and benefit from the paper savings.
Requirements for office laser printing start with black text, move onto graphs and charts, and finish with photo images. This Lexmark printer produces sharp, clean text, densely black and with no signs of spattered toner. The default resolution of 1200dpi helps maintain a high levels of detail, even at small point sizes.
This ugly add-on speeds duplex print
Graphics are also generally well reproduced and there are enough greyscales to distinguish between different colours when reproducing colour documents on this mono printer. Areas of greyscale fill, however, aren't as smooth as they might be and, while there's little evidence of banding, there is a certain blotchiness to mid and dark greys.
@JC Small is Beautiful
So, we should all drive buses 'cos there's more room for the engines, should we? Every office has space constraints and, particularly if a printer is to be positioned on a desk, the space it takes up is an important consideration.
Engineering something small may put more contraint on the designer, but there's no intrinsic reason why a smaller printer should be less reliable. The reliability indexes for all the major laser manufacturers are very similar, so companies that are building smaller machines aren't suffering from service-life issues.
As for a bigger printer keeping the paper flatter, that's hogwash. The designed temperature and pressure used in the fuser is by far the biggest factor in paper curl. Whether a machine uses a 'U'-shaped or 'S'-shaped paper path governs the tighness of turns in the paper path much more than the size of the case.
Regarding being big, it was erroneously suggested that is bad.
Bigger size, even if all else were equal which it seldom is, is a very desirable thing.
Bigger means lesser size limitations for gears, springs, plastic tabs, fuser heat dissipation, drum and cartridge size, etc, etc. Smaller means higher heat density, tighter paper path,
In other words, only a stupid fool thinks smaller is better unless it's on an airplane or in some economized oriental hotel slat. This printer was not designed to fit within your back pocket wearing spandex jeans, it was designed to do well as a printer.
Do realize I am not shilling Lexmark, I would rather buy from most other manufacturers than those toner and ink whoring bassturds, but at the same time we need to stop perpetuating the idiotic idea that smaller is better unless you live in a shoebox.
Smaller is never better when it comes to anything mechanical, if all else is equal then smaller is always, always, a negative thing. Especially so when talking about a 2nd element, how much paper will bend in the printer before it remains permanently more curled that you wanted a flat piece of paper to be.
If you want some small cheap junk printer by all means buy one. If you want something not so problematic, you want the largest size per dollar you can find. Per page printing cost is another story, subject to more than one variable like toner capacity, cost whether the drum is integral or not, whether a cartridge is user-refillable, etc.
These things weren't mentioned though, my comment is only addressing detrimental ideal that we are supposed to want smaller as if it is good when it is exactly the problem and thing to avoid.
Paris, because even if you don't live in Texas, smaller is less of a good thing more often than not.