The Lexmark MB3442i is Lexmark’s all-in-one monochromatic laser printer designed for the office but can also be used at any home-office. This printer is the third in line to be reviewed after previously reviewing the Epson EcoTank ET-4850 and the Brother INKvestment Tank multifunction printer MFC-J4540DW. It is a slight detour from the other AIO printers reviewed, offering more of an office solution rather than a true home-office printer as a coloured printer does.
Design and size
The Lexmark MB3442i is slightly bigger than the other two printers reviewed, which you would normally expect from a laser printer. As a laser printer though it is smaller than most. The bulk of it is the toner cartridge inside and the large scanning lid on top of the printer which allows for quite a bit of added functionality.
The front of the printer houses a small, coloured 2.8-inch LCD display to guide you through using the printer and its settings. The front is where the paper tray which holds 350 sheets of A4 paper, opens out. There is also a manual “multipurpose feeder tray” which opens out from the front for other media aside from what is in the paper tray.
The rear of the printer is the location for all the cabled connections including the power cable, USB, Ethernet and fax line. This is not ideal if you want to push the printer up against a wall. The paper tray also sticks out a couple of centimetres from the back of the printer – but nowhere near as far as the power cable so that isn’t an issue.
The automatic document feeder on the top of the scanner can apparently handle 50 sheets of A4 paper at a time and is able to scan or copy both sides of a page automatically – to do this I needed to set it on the LCD display on the printer or on the Windows Scan app on my PC. There is no way to scan using the new Lexmark app it seems – if you want to scan using an app on your phone you will need to use their older app.
The Lexmark MB3442i is an all-in-one device which means it can scan, copy, fax and print. Obviously printing is fairly simple, and being a laser printer, excels at.
The printer specification includes 40 pages per minute for printing. In my testing I found that extremely accurate. It may take 10 seconds or so for the first pages to print out (using wireless printing) but after that the printing is super-fast.
It can of course do dual sided printing as well and that is super-fast also. Copying (single or dual-sided) is amazingly fast so if you are using the printer for copying it is perfect. Scanning is also fantastic with the printer able to scan both sides of a document in a fraction of time – wow is all I can say with how fast it scanned and copied using the ADF at the top of the printer. Lexmark state that the scanner can scan 92 pages per minute and in my testing I would believe that.
There is no way to print from a remote location to the printer using Lexmark software – you will need to be on the same Wi-Fi connection – which is disappointing but not out of the ordinary. This printer is designed to be used for an office mostly anyway so not a huge issue. You can connect your cloud services to the printer and download and print them on the printer but you cannot do that remotely – that will need to be done from the printer itself. To print remotely you need to employ a third-party service such as Mopria or AirPrint.
Setup and operation
A quick note on the set up of the printer – don’t bother trying to do it using your mobile phone. Using my Pixel 6 Pro it failed each and every time and instead I had to set it up using the LCD display on the printer itself. Setting it up on the LCD though is very simple (save your passwords etc somewhere otherwise you’ll locked out of some of the more important setting permanently.
Once the printer is setup you will easily be able to add it to the Lexmark app on your phone as long as you are on the same Wi-Fi network. Setting up on the PC isn’t as easy. You’ll need to head to the Lexmark website and download the software required — or you can use the CD provided in the box (I don’t have a CD drive handy as many don’t these days) which is less than helpful for many in 2021.
The Lexmark MB3442i is louder than the dedicated home-office printers we have tested recently but in saying that if you are printing you shouldn’t expect it to be super quiet no matter what printer you use. If you do require printing to be quiet this may not be the printer for you, no matter how fast it prints and how functional the scanning and copying is.
Who should buy this?
The Lexmark MB3442i is not a printer for you if you want colour — in saying that Lexmark have a coloured version in the Lexmark Go series but that will set you back an extra $200. The Lexmark MB3442i is an AIO printer which excels at what it is designed to do. It scans and copies extremely fast, it prints extremely fast and all this while maintaining a high quality.
If you have an office, be it at home or not, and need a laser printer with high functionality including wireless capabilities then this is one printer you should be looking very closely at. At $499 it is not cheap but if it is for an office you could do a lot worse than this. For more information head on over to the Lexmark website.