We've already looked at two of the all-in-ones in Lexmark's new range, but one of the biggest stories in the company's publicity is the touchscreens fitted to the high-end machines. The first we've seen is the Interact S605 and the front part of the machine certainly looks a bit different.
The high-gloss control panel has just one button, to power the whole machine on. Everything else is controlled by the touchscreen or one of a series of fixed, illuminated touch buttons arranged around it. The main section of the touchscreen has quite an iPhone feel to it, roughly the same size and with a series of icons you can flick between and tap to activate.
The touchscreen is capacitive, so responds well to touches, though the angle of the screen can sometimes mean you hit the button above the one you're after, until you get used to. The touch controls cover the same functionality as physical ones, so you have screens dedicated to copying, scanning and printing from memory cards, among others.
Apart from the touchscreen, facilities on the S605 are pretty similar to those in machines further down the range. This is not one of the Pro range of machines, so there's no Automatic Document Feeder on the lid of the scanner, though it does have a business-like textured top, rather than an annoying high-gloss finish. A single memory card slot takes SD, Memory Stick and xD cards and there's a USB socket which handles both PictBridge and USB drives.
Paper feeds from a 100-sheet, fold-up tray at the rear to a pull-out output tray at the front. 100 sheets is a low capacity, even for a machine aimed at the home. The only data socket at the back is USB, but most people will make use of the machine's wireless connection.
Setting up the wireless connection is straightforward, whether you have WPA or WPS security on your network. With WPA, an on-screen keyboard enables you to enter a pass phrase, without the need to connect temporarily via USB.
Lexmark's new Vizix print system is in evidence on the Interact S605, with its four, separate ink cartridges and semi-permanent head. This is all pretty easy to set up, though cartridge fitting would benefit from a more positive click when each one is pushed into place.
Lexmark has taken advantage of the S605's touchscreen to introduce what it calls SmartSolutions. These are printing-based applets which can be downloaded and stored in the printer itself and provide extra functionality, above and beyond what is already installed on the machine.
SmartSolution Centre is still in its early days, so has a few rough edges. After setting up an obligatory user account and after the site had insisted we downloaded the latest versions of first Flash and then Java, we finally got to see the 14 apps available for download.
They range from shortcut apps to enable single-touch scanning or copying, to a series of photo viewers and even an MSNBC news feed which displays on the printer's screen. Oddly, the photo viewers demand an RSS feed from an online gallery, when we would have thought the most useful connection would be to a photo folder on a PC networked locally to the printer.