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Incident Report: Lexmark Printer

Category:hardwareDate of Incident:2002.05.13
Company:LexmarkItem or Service:X73 Printer


Lexmark manufacturers a spectrum of printers, including inkjets, laser printers, and multi-function (all-in-one) devices.

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Lexmark, a spin-off from IBM, sets the standard for good quality, low-cost computer printers. I came upon one particular one. I won't name names, except to say the model designation begins with the letter "X" and contains a "73". This particular printer is a multi-function device: it prints, scans, copies, and faxes, all in color. Lexmark is generally known for putting out quality products, and this one did not disappoint.

The manual for the product was surprisingly thin, about a dozen pages. And those are very sparsely concentrated pages, having lots of illustrations and very little text. Upon reflection, one can realize this is a mark of a well-designed product. The ultimate being a product with no manual; one that is so easy to use, you don't need it. This machine, indeed is very easy to use--see the accolades section for this same machine.

The glaring anomaly to this superb printer package, is shown in the illustration. This is an insert, a single piece of paper which came separate from the user manual. I've put a clean border around the actual page to highlight the ragged edge. (Sidenote: Typography aficionados are familiar with the ragged-right layout style, but that refers to the lines of a paragraph having an even left margin but a varying right one. This brings a new meaning to that term!)

Since someone went to the trouble of including this as a separate insert, it is probably important. Unfortunately, besides the fact that the sheet was torn by hand, is scruffy-looking and is barely legible, it suffers from the fact that its meaning is entirely absent! Well, to be fair, it has the tiniest hint of meaning, just enough that comparing it to the clean, crisp images in the user manual, I was able to match the two steps to ones there, which detail how to unlock the scanner carriage during setup. My conclusion from this, therefore, is that Lexmark wished to highlight the importance of unlocking the scanner carriage, but I don't believe they succeeded...

Scenario problems:

In a Nutshell:

Without that enclosure, this product would have had a spotless record.

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