If you enjoy this review, please help keep Storm Gods on line.

Lexmark C532n Color Laser Printer

title stars
title stars
title stars
title stars


There are a lot of color laser printers, and perhaps not surprisingly, a great many of them appear to have been beamed into our time-space continuum by a race of extraterrestrial technology salesmen with the intent of driving humanity mad and softening us up for an invasion. In doing the research for this purchase, we passed on enough turkeys to serve thanksgiving dinner to the entire population of Texas with plenty of leftovers for late night sandwiches.

The Lexmark C532n is a remarkable color printer, especially considering its competition, and while not without its flaws, it was the best such device we encountered. It does what it says on the box, does it well and it doesn’t even cost very much.

One of the pleasing aspects of the Lexmark C532n is that it comes with all the toys a printer could want, without having to buy any additional cards, chips, adapters or accessories. It can be interfaced to through a USB adapter or connected to an Ethernet network. It has a capacious 250-sheet paper tray. It can print 22 pages per minute, with a ten second warm-up. It prints at 1200 dots per inch, and can simulate 4800 dots per inch with its variable pitch dot engine. It includes PCL and PostScript emulations.

We were also pleased to learn that the consumables for the Lexmark C532n aren’t unreasonably expensive – and a set of toner cartridges will print about 3000 pages.

The Lexmark C532n includes a sleep mode, which allows it to remain powered up all the time. It will wake up automatically when someone sends it a print job.

The output quality of the Lexmark C532n is among the best offered by any contemporary color laser printer – and this is true whether you ask it to print photographs or business graphics. It doesn’t suffer from the overly saturated colors, obvious dithering artifacts or pronounced color shifts that afflicted most of the other printers we looked at.

There is a catch to the Lexmark C532n, and while it’s ultimately surmountable, it’s worth keeping in mind. The hard-copy documentation for this printer consists of a large folded poster illustrating the setup procedure almost entirely with pictures. There’s hardly a word of English anywhere on it. The pictures aren’t entirely revealing, especially for someone unfamiliar with the inner workings of the machine.

We got it set up in time, but a more detailed startup manual would have had us printing a great deal sooner.

The documentation proper for the Lexmark C532n appears as PDF files on a CD-ROM. They’re somewhat less convenient than a paper manual, and they’re not terribly well organized. Everything you ever wanted to know about this printer is in there – your mission is to find what you’re looking for.

Our Lexmark C532n came out of its box requiring alignment of its print engine – a not-uncommon condition for color laser printers. The procedure for performing the alignment turned out to be largely effortless, and the resulting hard copy now looks like it was etched in glass. However, it took several hours of working through the PDF files for the Lexmark C532n to figure out what was wrong, and how to address it.

We also tried Lexmark’s e-mail customer support to deal with this one – they got back to us just over a month after our request for assistance, by which time the beast had long been slain, divided amongst the knights of the realm, barbequed and had its leftovers frozen for snacks.

The Lexmark C532n is an excellent color laser printer, and knowing what we do of it, we’d buy another one in a heartbeat. It may well be the best moderately-priced color printer available at the moment. Its documentation and support are unquestionably its greatest weakness, however, and a regrettable flaw in an otherwise superb bit of technology.