Lexmark's new color inkjet printer is fast but flawed

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Lexmark International has been the king of inexpensive printers for the past few years. But with the Z65 Color Jetprinter ($180), Lexmark has gone upscale - with mixed results.

The Z65 has a few things going for it. It easily connects to your computer via a Universal Serial Bus cable (which is not included). It can produce prints with resolutions up to 4,800-by- 1,200 dots per inch on glossy paper and 4,800-by-600 dpi on plain paper. It produced solid black-and-white documents in draft mode at 10 to 12 pages per minute in our tests - good performance for an inkjet.

I also liked the Z65's dual, top-feeding paper trays, which enable you to load two types of media at once.

That's where the good news ends. The Z65's color prints weren't nearly as color-accurate or detailed as those from the similarly-priced Epson Stylus C80. Skin tones were awful from the Z65 on some photo papers we tried.

Worse, paper feeding from the upper tray jammed frequently once I put in more than 10 sheets of lighter stock - the tray is rated for 100 sheets. I couldn't figure out any way to position the paper to keep the problem from recurring. The lower tray had no problems.

Given its price in a market that offers great bargains elsewhere, the Z65 doesn't impress nearly as much as it should.

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