Lexmark Offers Inexpensive Wi-Fi Printers

Multifunction inkjet printers with built-in Wi-Fi have traditionally cost at least $250, and optional Bluetooth attachments for wireless printing add, on average, about $50 to the price of a printer. But Lexmark’s 2007 printer line seeks to change that.

Of 12 printers the company says it will announce by year’s end, 6 will include integrated 802.11g Wi-Fi capabilities, while 2 will provide it as a $50 option. The company has now launched the first five of these printers, including three that support Wi-Fi printing, which lets you share the printer among multiple computers.

Though we haven’t officially tested the units yet–that is, put them through the PC World Test Center gauntlet–I have seen them in person, and the build quality of this series looks to be higher than that of previous Lexmark efforts. Each printer supports Windows Vista, and I’ve also seen Lexmark’s wireless setup wizard software in action. Though the wizard does require you to first connect the printer to your computer via a USB cable, it’s quite easy to follow thereafter, and it supports the major Wi-Fi security schemes–WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
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