The Z31 completes Lexmark's new range of inkjet printers, slotting neatly between the high-end Z51 and budget Z11 models. In common with the others, it boasts a resolution of 1,200x1,200dpi, which for a few days made it the highest-resolution printer on the market - before the launch of HP's DeskJet 970Cxi.
A lot of thought has gone into the Z31's usability: the printer driver features Lexmark's characteristic ink-level monitor and spoken warnings about paper reserves, and installation is a one-click operation.
In tests it was fast, producing five standard-quality pages of a business letter in just two minutes and 17 seconds. On photocopy paper this had crisp edges - and even characters written in four-point type were easily legible. However, the white background of an embedded greyscale signature was spattered with cyan dots in all print-quality settings.
Business graphics reproduced well, with a well-presented white hairline running through a solid black area - traditionally difficult to achieve.
Colours were vibrant and realistic, and it printed our A4 photograph at 'high' quality on Lexmark's photo paper in 9min 8sec. This was a little dark, particularly on skin tones, and remained tacky for over 20 minutes after printing had finished. Drops were clearly visible in lighter yellow areas but we were pleased to see that there was no bleeding of ink where darker and lighter colours shared a common border.
Overall, the Z31 performed well, with slight imperfections, but at less than £150 all-in it's good value for money.
Contact - Lexmark 01628 481500 www.lexmark.co.uk