Lexmark Optra T612
Lexmark's t612 is a speedy printer that's aimed at supporting medium-sized workgroups. Printing at 20ppm, this 1200 by 1200 dpi monochrome laser printer can handle high volume jobs for producing sharp business documents. The T612 is built around a 167MHz NEC processor with 8MB of RAM. The T612 connects to a PC via a parallel or serial interface. An Ethernet version of the unit is also available for connecting directly to the network.
The T612 has a generous paper capacity with a 500-sheet main bin, plus a 100-sheet multipurpose feeder. There are several add-on options, including 250-, 500-, and 2,000-sheet paper drawers, an envelope feeder, a duplex unit (for double-sided printing), and an output stacker for about 1,850 pages. It ships with a toner cartridge rated to deliver 7,500 pages.
In our tests, the T612 printed text from Microsoft Word documents at 16 PPM in 1,200-dpi Image Quality mode, and at 7.6 PPM in true 1,200-dpi mode. Both samples showed crisp, well-formed characters of excellent density. The difference between the modes was barely discernable. When printing graphics, we noticed minor banding in darkly shaded areas of PowerPoint slides. On grayscale photos, the T612 delivered good tonal definition, but with a less-than-pleasing dot pattern effect. All in all, however, this was a minor complaint, especially given the printer's intended business audience.
Lexmark includes a one-year LexExpress (free overnight exchange) warranty and optional on-site service. The T612 is well suited for business needs and the TBase 10/100 version adds an additional value. With a price of about $1,100, the T612 is a great deal all around.