Lexmark CS331dw Review

Good: Return Program that allows businesses to save on aftermarket toner, mobile and wireless connectivity, strong security features.
Bad: Not intended for large businesses.
Bottom Line: Affordable, compact and robust color printer for small businesses.
Intended Users:
Small businesses
Speed Black:
Speed Color:
26 ppm
26 ppm
1 GHz
512 MB

Product Overview

The new CS331dw ($299) single-function color printer targets small businesses that need an affordable and efficient device. It prints at up to 26 ppm and has a first-page-out time of 10.9 seconds.

The CS331dw includes a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of memory and a two-line display for monitoring printer status and other information. The monthly duty cycle is 50,000 pages per month, however, the recommended volume is between 600 and 2,500 pages.

PCL and PostScript are standard, as well as USB, Ethernet and wireless connectivity. Mobile printing is supported via the Lexmark Mobile Print app, as well as Mopria and AirPrint.

More details is in our Features section below.


Paper handling starts with a 250-sheet tray and a single-sheet bypass. There’s no additional paper options. The trays can accept paper from envelopes up to legal-sized (8.5″ x 14″).

There’s a 100-sheet output bin. Automatic duplexing is standard.

As with its other devices, the CS331dw uses Lexmark’s Unison Toner. The Unison Toner’s print system has a separate toner, imaging unit and fuser, using a multi-piece architecture design that leads to reduced toner waste and long-life system reliability.

It also prints at up to 1,200 dpi for crisper print quality. And it alerts users when supplies are needed (e.g., low toner warning and number of pages left to print).

Just like it’s done for many years, Lexmark offers its Return Program, which is a loyalty program that provides customers with a free high-yield toner cartridge for every 10 toner cartridges sent back to Lexmark for recycling. It also provides a free imaging kit when needed. Consumable prices under the Return Program tend to be significantly cheaper.

The CS331dw ships with a 750-page black cartridge and 500-page cyan/yellow/magenta cartridges. Aftermarket toner cartridges are 1,500 pages for each cartridge. However, there’s the high-yield capacity option of 4,500 pages for each black and color cartridge

We’ve calculated the cost per page based on the high-yield capacity toner with the Return Program prices. The cost per page is 2.9 cents in black and 14.5 cents in color. Companies that don’t participate in the Return Program can expect higher costs for aftermarket toner.

Users can also take advantage of other features to help keep printing costs down, such as sleep mode and duplexing.

The CS331dw include strong security features that’s present on Lexmark’s other devices. Some of those features include confidential print, user authentication, network security and document security.

Finally, there’s a one-year limited warranty.

  • Automatic Document Feeder?
  • Duplexing?
  • Ethernet Connectivity?
  • Wireless Connectivity?
  • Mobile Printing/Scanning?
  • Finishers?


The CS331dw isn’t intended for larger businesses as it doesn’t include advanced features, such as hard drive and higher paper capacity. It also doesn’t support ledger-sized printing.


Lexmark creates innovative imaging solutions and technologies that help customers worldwide print, secure and manage information with ease, efficiency and unmatched value.

Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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