At the launch of Lexmark’s Pro range of all-in-ones, most of the media attention was directed at the high-end machines, with touchscreen controls and access to SmartSolutions downloadable applets. However, the simpler design of the Prospect Pro205 offers much of the same functionality at considerably lower cost.
This is a comparatively squat machine, since it doesn’t have to allow for a front-loading paper cassette sitting underneath. Instead, it uses an older, equally effective design, with a 100-sheet rear paper tray set up close to the vertical. This feeds paper through to an output tray, which pulls out from the front of the machine.
The only disadvantage of this layout is that the paper can sit for long periods with nothing keeping dust off it or stopping it from being knocked. You can remove the paper and fold down the tray, but this is less convenient.
In front of the paper tray is the lid of the flatbed scanner, which is fitted with a neat, near-horizontal Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and in front of that, folding out from the front of the machine, is the control panel.
Although the panel has a fairly conventional set of controls, such as four mode buttons, a numeric pad for fax dialling and a square of navigation controls, there's one button which is a little more unusual. The button with a small green leaf icon has two functions, turning on duplex print and Economode, which saves ink without making a radical difference to print quality.
There's a 2.5in colour LCD panel, which is bright and clear and has enough room to display decent thumbnails and menus. To the right of the control panel is a single memory card slot, which can take SD, MemoryStick and xD cards and below this is a PictBridge socket for digital cameras. At the back are sockets for USB, fax line and third-party phone headset. There's no Ethernet socket for a cabled network, even though Wi-Fi is supported.
Wireless setup is easy and there's a Wizard provided that supports both button-on-the-router and PIN-entry setup modes. Lexmark provides support for Windows and OS X on the software CD and you can download Linux drivers from the Lexmark site.
The four Vizix ink tanks clip into the print head, which itself clips into a carrier inside the printer. It's very quick and easy, though the ink cartridges themselves would benefit from a more positive click action, to show when they're properly seated.