Lexmark MS521dn Review

Good: Lower printing costs with ultra-high-capacity aftermarket toner, 2,000-page maximum paper capacity, strong security features.
Bad: Doesn't accept 11" x 17" paper, hard disk drive isn't available, even as an option.
Bottom Line: Compact black-and-white printer that scales up to a floor-standing configuration with optional paper trays.
Intended Users:
Medium, Large
Speed Black:
Speed Color:
46 ppm
Not applicable
1 GHz
512 MB

Product Overview

Lexmark has refreshed its monochrome (black-and-white) printer and MFP lineup intended for small-to-large-sized workgroups. The new devices include upgrades, such a faster speed, mobile functionality, enhanced environmental features, and extensive security.

This review focuses on the MS521dn, which is the single-function version of the MX520 Series. The MS521dn ($549) prints at up to 46 ppm. It comes with a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of memory, and a 2.4″ color LCD display panel. First-page-out-time is up to 6 seconds.

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 optional. Mobile printing is supported via the Lexmark Mobile Print, Apple AirPrint, Mopria and Google Cloud Print apps.

More details on this printer is in our Features section below.

The MS521dn is a speedy printer designed to help medium-to-large workgroups print more efficiently. Businesses can take advantage of the higher-capacity toner cartridges to ensure lower printing costs.


Paper handling starts with a 250-sheet tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose feeder. Lexmark offers optional paper trays for up to a maximum 2,000 sheets. They include a 550-sheet locakable tray, a 550-sheet tray and a 250-sheet tray. The trays can accept paper from envelope-size up to legal-sized (8.5″ x 14″).

Output is a 150-sheet bin. The maximum monthly duty cycle is 120,000 pages. However, Lexmark recommends a monthly page volume range of 2,000 to 15,000 pages.

As with its older printers and MFPs, the MS521dn 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.

Users have a choice of a 6,000-page aftermarket toner, the 15,000-page high-capacity toner, the 20,000-page extra-high-capacity toner, or the 25,000-page ultra-high-capacity toner. We’ve calculated the cost per page based on the ultra-high-capacity toner, which is 1.62 cents.

That’s an excellent cost per page. Users can also take advantage of other features to help keep printing costs down, such as sleep mode and duplexing.

The MS521dn include strong security features that’s present on Lexmark’s other printers and MFPs. Some of those features include user authentication, network security, document security, and secure remote management. The MS521dn has a confidential print feature that allows users to input a PIN in order to retrieve their printed output.

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

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


The MS521dn doesn’t accept ledger-sized (11″ x 17″ or A3) paper. Also, a hard disk drive is not available.

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

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