Lexmark MS331 MS431 Series Review

Good: 20,000-page extra-high-yield toner capacity (on MS431dn/MS431dw), strong security features, compact design.
Bad: Ledger-sized paper is not accepted; hard drive is not available.
Bottom Line: A series of strong printers that target small and medium workgroups that don't need color output.
Vendor:
Product:
Price:
Intended Users:
Lexmark
MS331-MS341 Series
$199-$299
Small, Medium
Speed Black:
Speed Color:
Processor:
Memory:
40 ppm-42 ppm
Not applicable
1 GHz
256 MB

Product Overview

The MS331 and MS431 series join Lexmark’s refreshed lineup of black-and-white printers that target the small and medium workgroups. They have similar features as Lexmark’s enterprise-level devices but is lightweight (20 lbs.) and compact to fit in cramped spaces.

There are three devices in this series:

  • The MS331dn ($199), which prints at up to 40 ppm,
  • The MS431dn ($299), which prints at up to 42 ppm, and
  • The MS431dw ($299), which adds on wireless connectivity.

All three printers come with a 1 GHz processor and 256 MB of memory. First-page-out-time is up to 6.2 seconds on the MS331dn and up to 5.9 seconds on the MS431dw/MS431dw. PCL and PostScript printing language are supported. Other standard printing languages include direct PDF, direct image, personal printer data stream (PPDS) and Microsoft XPS.

USB and Ethernet connectivity are standard, while Wi-Fi is included on the MS431dw. Mobile printing is supported via the Lexmark Mobile Print, Apple AirPrint, Mopria and Google Cloud Print apps.

More details on both MFPs is in our Features section below.

Features

Paper handling starts with a 250-sheet tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose feeder. Lexmark offers an optional 550-sheet tray for a maximum capacity of 900 sheets. The trays can accept paper from envelope-size up to legal-sized (8.5″ x 14″).

Output is a 150-sheet bin and all three printers has standard automatic duplexing. The maximum monthly duty cycle is 50,000 pages on the MS331dn and 80,000 pages on the MS431dn/MS431dw. However, Lexmark recommends a monthly page volume range of 500 to 5,000 pages (MS331dn) and 800 to 8,000 pages (MS431dn/MS431dw).

As with its older printers and MFPs, these devices use 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.

Users have a choice of a 3,000-page aftermarket toner, the 15,000-page high-capacity toner (on the MS331dn) or the 20,000-page extra-high-capacity toner (on the MS431dn/MS431dw).

Here’s our calculation on the cost per page for each device:

  • MS331dn: 2.2 cents (based on 15,000-page toner)
  • MX431dn/MS431dw: 1.8 cents (based on 20,000-page toner)

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.

All three devices include strong security features that’s present on Lexmark’s other printers and MFPs. 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?

Shortcomings

The printers doesn’t accept ledger-sized (11″ x 17″/A3) paper. Also, they don’t include a hard disk drive even as an option.

About

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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