Lexmark MX520 Series 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, finishing options aren't available.
Bottom Line: Robust and compact black-and-white MFPs to help medium-to-large workgroups improve productivity.
Intended Users:
MX520 Series
Medium, Large
Speed Black:
Speed Color:
46 ppm
Not applicable
1 GHz-2 GHz
1 GB-2 GB
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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 MX520 Series. They print and copy at up to 46 ppm and are intended for medium-to-large workgroups.

This series has three configurations. First, there is the MX521de ($799) that offers standard printing, copying, and scanning functions. It comes with a 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of memory.

Then, there’s the MX521ade ($899) that offers the same features as the MX521de, but also includes standard faxing.

Finally, there’s the MX522adhe ($1,199) that comes with a 2 GHz processor, 2 GB of memory and a standard hard drive. It also supports single-pass duplex scanning (the other two configurations do not).

All three configurations include a 4.3″ e-Task color touch screen panel with a tablet-like interface. 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 series is in our Features section below.

The MX520 Series are robust and compact black-and-white MFPs that helps medium-to-large workgroups improve their productivity.


Paper handling starts with a 250-sheet tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose feeder. Lexmark offers optional paper trays for up to a maximum of 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 size (8.5″ x 14″).

Output is a 150-sheet bin. There’s a 50-sheet automatic document feeder. The MX522adhe supports single-pass duplexing while the other configuration supports reversing duplex. The maximum monthly duty cycle is 120,000 pages. However, Lexmark recommends a monthly page volume range of 2,000 to 15,000 pages.

The series support color scanning with CIS technology. Files can be scanned to email, FTP, USB or the Lexmark Document Solutions Suite. File formats supported are JPEG, PDF, secure PDF, TIFF and XPS.

The faxing function uses the 33.6kbps modem.

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 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 series 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 MX522adhe offers optional print release and Lexmark secure document monitor features.

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

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


This series doesn’t accept ledger-sized (11″ x 17″ or A3) paper. Also, they don’t offer any finishing options.

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