Awesome Lexmark B2236dw Printer Review

Lexmark B2236dw printer Review
Lexnark B2236DW

The Lexmark B2236dw is a single-function monochrome laser printer that produces quality output at a decent clip, making it a solid entry-level option for small offices.

PROS
  • Fast.
  • Terrific print quality.
  • Easy to use.
  • High maximum and recommended volume ratings.
CONS
  • Lacks NFC.
  • Pricier than similarly outfitted competitors.

One of the smallest monochrome laser printers to pass through our labs, the entry-level Lexmark B2236dw ($204) is fast for its price and size, it prints text and grayscale graphics well, and it has sensible running costs. It’s nearly a feature-for-feature match to our current Editors’ Choice, Brother’s HL-L2370DW, except that it has a twice-as-high maximum monthly duty cycle and a list price that’s $70 higher. 

That means that deciding between the two comes down to whether that higher duty cycle is worth the extra hit to your budget. If so, the HL-L2370DW is an excellent choice for monochrome output in home-based or small offices and small work groups, or as a personal printer.

SIMILAR PRODUCTS

Brother HL L2370DW
4/5
Brother HL-L2370DW
$299.99
OKI MC573dn
4/5
OKI MC573dn
$720.23
Canon imageClass LBP151dw
4/5
Canon imageClass LBP151dw
$289.49
Brother HL-L8360CDW
4.5/5
Brother HL-L8360CDW
$299.99
Canon Color imageClass MF634Cdw
4/5
Canon imageClass MF424dw
$489.95
Canon imageClass MF424dw
4/5
Canon Color imageClass MF634Cdw
$560.00

Features and specifications 

This is a generously featured four-in-one and in addition to printing, scanning, copying and faxing you’ll find auto duplexing and manual dual side scanning taken care of and an ADF that can hold 50 documents. When photocopying you can reduce or enlarge the image easily. 

Wi-Fi is included, which means you can print and scan via the Lexmark companion app. There’s no Wi-Fi Direct, or NFC, so you can’t hijack the machine with your smartphone, which is a pity, but not unusual with this kind of office-based product. 

It is a monochrome printer and one black toner cartridge is included. As is often the case, the bundled starter cartridge contains less toner than a standard cart and this one is particularly stingy with only enough to print 700 pages. A high yield cartridge would give you 6,000, but given that it costs about the same as the printer itself, you wouldn’t expect to find one in the box. Toner for this printer is not cheapest.  

There’s a full suite of security features, which includes the ability to set a PIN password that you have to type in before collecting your printout and wireless printing via AirPrint, or Google Cloud Print is possible.

The specifications are impressive at this price point too. It prints quickly at 34ppm and the first page out time is not too sloppy at around 8 seconds. That’s faster than any inkjet, but slower than any of Xerox’s current laser printers. A 1GHz processor with 512MB of memory provides the brains, which is plenty for a printer.

The print and scan resolutions are somewhat limited at 600 x 600dpi and the paper capacity isn’t great at 250 sheets, especially as there’s is no option to add another paper tray. 

Lexmark B2236dw Specifications

Here are the full specs of the Lexmark B2236dw:

  • Type: 4-in-1 mono laser printer  
  • Functions: Print, scan, copy, fax 
  • Toner: Mono laser cartridge 
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB
  • Data storage slot: none 
  • Print speed: 36 ppm
  • Main paper tray capacity: 250 sheets 
  • Max paper size: A4
  • Print quality: 600 x 600 dpi
  • Scan quality: n/a 
  • Apple AirPrint: yes 
  • Google Cloud Print: yes
  • App support: yes, Xerox Print Portal 
  • Consumables included: Starter toner cartridge (700 pages)
  • Dimensions/Weight: 352 x 415 x 360 mm (HxWxD)/10kg

Printing Speed

  • Black Only Text Document: 35 PPM
  • Color Document: N/A
  • Photo Printing Time: 9.4 sec
    First Page Out Time (Black Only): 8.3 sec
  • Duplex Printing: Automatic
    Input Tray Capacity: 250 pages


The Lexmark B2236dw has an exceptionally fast print speed and while the first page takes a bit longer to print off, it can quickly produce a full 30-page article in less than a minute. If you need a printer with bigger input trays, check out the 
HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn.

Dimensions

Lexmark-B2236dw Dimensions
  • Height: 8.7″ (22.1 cm)
  • Width :14.0″ (35.6 cm)
  • Depth :13.1″ (33.3 cm)
  • Weight:18.1 lbs (8.2 kg)
 

The Lexmark B2236dw is fairly compact. As it doesn’t have a scanner, it isn’t too tall or wide, which makes it easy to store on a shelf or a small table.

Lexmark B2236dw Cartridge

  • Photo Cartridge : No
  • Number Of Color Cartridges: N/A
  • Black Cartridge Model: Lexmark B221000 Black
  • Tested Black Page Yield: 77.00 prints
  • Estimated Black Page Yield: 1463 prints
  • Color Cartridge Model: No Color Cartridge
  • Tested Color Page Yield: N/A
  • Estimated Color Page Yield : N/A
  • Third Party Cartridge: Yes
  • High Yield Cartridge: XL and XXL
  • Drum Unit: A Separate Unit
 

The Lexmark B2236dw has an excellent monochrome cartridge system. Its black toner cartridge can print off a high yield of pages before it needs to be replaced, and there are even higher yield cartridges available, which is nice. The drum unit is also separate from the toner, so you don’t need to replace it when you replace the cartridge. Keep in mind that the drum unit still needs to be replaced generally after 12,000 prints.

Connectivity

  • Ethernet: Yes
  • USB Input To Computer: Yes
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Wi-Fi via Router: Yes
  • Wi-Fi Direct: Yes
  • External Storage Support: No
  • Apple AirPrint: Yes
  • Mopria Print Service: Yes
 

The Lexmark B2236dw has great connectivity options. It has all the main wireless features, except for Bluetooth support, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem as it still supports Apple AirPrint or Mopria Print Service for mobile printing. However, this printer doesn’t have any external storage support, so you won’t be able to print directly from a USB thumb drive or SD card.

In The Box

  • Starter toner cartridge B221000
  • Drum unit (also called an ‘imaging unit’ by the manufacturers)
  • Power cord
  • CD software and documentation
  • Setup guide

Cost-Per-Print

  • Black Cartridge Price: 44.99 US$
  • Color Cartridge Price: N/A
  • Black Only Printing: 0.031 US$/print
  • Color Printing: N/A
  • Photo Printing 0.125 US$/print
  • Ink Subscription: No
 

The Lexmark B2236dw has an outstandingly low cost-per-print. However, keep in mind that the drum unit needs to be replaced eventually, and its price isn’t factored into the cost-per-print.

Printing Size

  • Letter (8.5″ x 11″) Yes
  • Legal (8.5″ x 14″) Yes
  • Tabloid (11″ x 17″) No
  • A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
  • A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
  • A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
  • Photo (2″ x 3″) No
  • Photo (4″ x 6″) No
  • Photo (5″ x 7″) No
 

This printer has an adjustable input tray that supports most standard formats of plain paper. The single-sheet manual feed can also support slightly thicker media.

Mobile App Print

  • Mobile App: Yes
  • App Name: Lexmark Print
  • iOS: Yes
  • Android: Yes
  • Photo (JPEG, PNG): Yes
  • PDF: Yes
  • Microsoft Office Files: No
  • Text Files (TXT): Yes
  • Webpages (HTML): Yes
 

The Lexmark B2236dw is compatible with Lexmark Print. With it, you can view all your past print jobs used by the app, camera scan, check your toner level, and access the Lexmark Print Management Cloud. While you can print off a variety of file types, you won’t be able to print Microsoft Office files.

Compact and Mighty

The Lexmark B2236dw measures 8.5 by 14 by 13.1 inches and weighs 15 pounds. Like the Brother HL-L2370DW, which is only slightly longer and heavier, the B2236dw takes up minimal desk space and is very easy to move around for cleaning or relocating. HP’s entry-level LaserJet Pro M102w is the smallest and lightest of the lot.

You can manage configuration, printing, and general setup from the Lexmark B2236dw‘s somewhat sparse control panel, which, as shown in the image below, consists only of a navigation wheel, troubleshooting and cancel buttons, and a two-line monochrome text display.

However, most configuration, status monitoring, and report generation tasks are much simpler and more efficiently executed from the Lexmark B2236dw‘s built-in web server, shown here.

Paper handling on the B2236dw consists of a 250-sheet cassette and a one-sheet override tray for printing one-off envelopes and other media (such as labels) without having to open and/or reconfigure the main paper drawer. This is the same configuration as Brother’s HL-L2370DW, while HP’s M102w holds only 160 sheets, split between a 150-sheet tray and a 10-sheet multipurpose tray.

The B2236dw’s maximum monthly duty cycle is 30,000 pages, with a 2,500-page recommended monthly print volume. That’s twice the duty cycle of the HL-L2370DW, and 20,000 pages more than the M102w.

Connecting and Securing

Connectivity options on the B2236dw are straightforward. Standard interfaces consist of Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and connecting to a single PC via USB 2.0. Mobile connectivity comprises Apple AirPrint, Mopria, and Lexmark’s Mobile Print app, which allows you to connect your mobile devices to the printer wirelessly over a local area network (LAN) or the internet.

Security on the B2236dw, too, is somewhat straightforward, but robust for a printer in this class. As shown in the image below, you can set up connectivity restrictions, thereby controlling access to functions or the printer itself, by users and departments, as well as assign PINs to sensitive documents and lock out users based on a predefined number of failed logins.

Design

If the Lexmark MB2236adw looks a little top-heavy, that’s because the scanner bed overhangs the printer by a few centimetres on either side, and on top of that is a fairly sizable automatic document feeder that can hold 50 sheets of paper. The mono printer on which it is mounted is a much more compact design. 

So compact that to fit A4 paper in the main tray, you have to extend it so that it protrudes through a flap at the rear of the machine by a couple of inches. It all means that the dimensions of the base of this unit give you a deceptively small footprint and it may take up slightly more room than you think.


The single paper tray can hold 250 sheets, while the manual feed slot above it swallows envelopes or letter headed paper one item at a time. The output bin can hold 150 printed pages.

The tilting control panel is mounted conspicuously on the front and unlike the premium devices that offer a touchscreen, Lexmark has kept the cost down by specifying a very simple two-line LCD. There is at least a button keyboard beside it, so entering Wi-Fi passwords is not too arduous a process.

Below it you can see a blocked off USB port. This is a little frustrating as it means there’s no way to print from, or scan to a thumb drive. You’ll need to look higher up Lexmark’s range to find an active USB input. There is, however, the usual square USB port at the rear and an Ethernet port.

Leading the Pack

Lexmark rates the B2236dw at 36 pages per minute (ppm), the same rating as the Brother HL-L2730DW but 13ppm higher than the HP M102w. When reviewing machines that default to auto-duplexing, as the Lexmark B2236dw does, we test and record both its one-sided and two-sided print speeds.

Impressive Text and Graphics

I have no complaints about the B2236dw’s output. Text, even the decorative and somewhat uncommon fonts we test, came out well-shaped and legible, and standard fonts looked suitable even at tiny point sizes, beyond what I could see without magnification. Grayscale graphics had solid backgrounds, devoid of banding or streaking, and even the smallest of hairlines (rules less than 1 point) printed evenly and unbroken from end-to-end.

Embedded gray scale photos looked good, too, with decent detail and enough variances in shades of gray to make our test images appear relatively attractive. You wouldn’t, of course, use this low-end monochrome laser printer for churning out your family’s keeper photos, but the Lexmark B2236dw‘s text, graphics, and image output is indeed good enough for most monochrome business applications.

Entry-Level Running Costs

When you participate in Lexmark’s recycle program and use the highest-yield (6,000 pages)toner cartridge with this printer, your first 12,000 pages will cost you about 2.7 cents each. (If you don’t participate in the company’s cartridge recycle program, running costs are significantly higher.) Every 12,000 pages after that, you’ll have to replace the imaging drum, which increases the per-page price to 3.4 cents. 

Those numbers are in line with other printers in this price range. These days, though, there are plenty of inkjet printers that produce laser-quality output at a much more affordable cost per page, like the Epson WF-M5299 (0.8 cents per page). A difference of a couple cents per page may not seem like a lot, but it can add up substantially over time.

Excellent Small-Office Alternative

We have no real complaints about the Lexmark B2236dw, except that it lists for a little more than competing models (although, while writing this, we found it just about everywhere for almost half its list price). It prints well and fast, and comes with twice the volume capacity as similar entry-level models. 

It doesn’t quite supplant the Brother HL-L2370DW as our Editors’ Choice for entry-level monochrome laser printers, but it’s an excellent alternative for small offices and work groups and home-based offices, especially if you can find it on sale.

FAQ