Lexmark: it was too good to be true

  ricvic 08:37 05 Mar 2004

I recently bought an inexpensive Lexmark printer from Staples (great firm). I am fully aware that ink prices subsidise the low up front cost. This is a printer destined to be occasionally used.

On upacking it I discovered that it shipped only with a colour cartridge, no black in the box, nor any indication (on reading small print) that there was supposed to be a black cartridge.

I shall take advantage of Staples' generous and understanding returns policy. But before I do, I am checking with you august people: do Lexmarks now ship without the carttridges? Is this reasonable, or unfair?


  Diodorus Siculus 08:49 05 Mar 2004

I had not heard of Lexmark doing it, but I have seen this with some low end HP printers.

Fair / unfair? well, that comes down to what one expects. I should have thought that the box should have indicated that there was no black ink included (rather than simply say that a colour cartridge is included).

  ricvic 08:56 05 Mar 2004

Thanks DS,

Expectation is all: my expectation was that I should be able to use it out of the box.

I have learnt!


  Diodorus Siculus 09:16 05 Mar 2004

To my mind, that was a reasonable expectation.

I was surprised when I first came across the situation though. I am familiar with manufacturers putting in low capacity cartridges but it is a little mean spirited to leave one out altogether.

  Edstow 10:40 05 Mar 2004

I recall the company in the offices next to my studio buying several low cost Lexmark printers (L35 was it?) to find, as you have done, that there was only a part filled colour cartridge included with the pack. The idea with this model was that it fabricated black from blending all the three colours but it stated that if a lot of black work was to be done then a black cartridge was available. The available black cartridge cost more than the whole printer. Problem then was that there was only a single cartridge carrier so they had to be swapped around at each change of colour to B/W thus leaving the spare cartidge open an liable to dry out, leak or whatever else.

To my mind, this is a con on the part of Lexmark but the old adages apply: "you gets what you pays for" and "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is".


  Belatucadrus 11:09 05 Mar 2004

Assuming that you have a Z601, look at the spec page click here the black cartridge is described as "Optional for true black text" I think that the printer may not even have separate chassis for colour and black cartridges. So while you can use it out of the box, black ( or a close approximation )will be blended from the colours in the supplied colour cartridge, the running costs will be extremely high until you swap the cartridges. I suspect you have found the drawback with low budget printers, the specification has to give somewhere.

  ricvic 16:26 05 Mar 2004

Thank you for these contributions. I shall return it to staples, since, by comparison with other, complete, new printers, it is poor value.

  Rayuk 17:17 05 Mar 2004

Unless things have changed lately,Epson printers didnt come with a cable to connect to your pc.
You got the ink though.

  oresome 18:34 05 Mar 2004

This situation demonstrates what a minefield it's become purchasing anything. I'm always uneasy buying, without first seeing a review of the intended product in a magazine or on the net. At one time you could rely on knowledgable sales staff, but they seem to be like hen's teeth.

  spuds 20:22 05 Mar 2004

I have purchased within the last six months two Lexmark printers,X85 and X5150, both had black and coloured cartridges supplied. Great printers but thirsty with the cartridges. I think the 'full' Lexmark cartridges are only 20ml, whereas the HP printer type are 40ml capacity.

  Stuartli 14:34 07 Mar 2004

I recently acquired a Mesh system on behalf of an elderly friend - it came with a Lexmark Z601 printer.

This only came with the one cartridge which is used for both colour and black reproduction. The new owner has used it quite happily for printing text in black for around three months.

There are, however, two cartridge compartments, the first for the colour one and the second for dedicated black.

The owner, once the colour cartridge had died the death, went to Staples and purchased both colour and black cartridges which should, in the long run, prove more economical.

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