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Lexmark Interact S605 - Wireless All-in-One review

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8

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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.

Alex 5

October 4, 2009, 5:30 am

If it's like my Lexmark x6570 then setting up a connection wirelessly is a major pain in the butt.

blyndy

October 4, 2009, 9:21 am

What about noise levels for scanning/printing/head-cleaning? How long does it take to turn on (I imagine that such heavy internal software would take 30s+ to load)? What's the build quality? I don't have much regard for Lexmark printers, I rank them well below Canon, Epson and even HP home printers.





How large are the drivers? Are they quick and easy to install or is one required to install unnecessary programs just to print?





Finally; do these new cartridges have microchips? Can printing be forced when one tank is reported as low or does all printing get refused? And is the printhead easily replaceable?





If the main feature of this printer is a large screen attached to the typical -- to be frank: rubbish -- Lexmark printer, then I would still recommend any second-hand 2000-2006 Canon four-cartridge printer for everyday printing because they're reliable, well built, have replaceable printheads, produce good prints and don't use those pesky microchipped cartridges!

Cherokee

November 18, 2009, 5:47 pm

Re Blyndy:


I have had my Interact now for 1 month and i want to say that i have found this printer to be nothing short of Fantastic....its very quiet, prints my 4x6 photos in about 30 secs,it has a removable printhead which i have been told by Lexmark would be replaced FREE OF CHARGE during the 3YR Guarentee the printer comes with.


it is a fantastic step for Lexmark as i can now replace my new 100 cartridges for between £7.99-£9.99 {depending on the retailer i use}, having owned a x7675 last year i have found the interact incredably easy to use,the touchscreen is simple, easy to navigate all the functions and because i use my laptop at home i tend to look at the BBC News headlines from my printer screen via the RSS Feed smartsolution. {and it was very easy to set up!}.


This is clearly a major step in new technology and i would highly recommend this printer to anyone{ just look at the cost of ink with Epson/HP these days}.


one thing that i really love is the fact that the other night while printing, i had some photos to print off, then some text documents for work, my cyan colour cartridge ran out but BINGO i could still use the printer to print my documents...a major benefit compared to other individual ink systems that stop working if a single cartridge runs out!





Well done Lexmark!, print speeds are upto 33ppm mono, 30ppm colour and the same great print quality across ALL the new range, so i am pleased to get the same speed and quality as the £399 top of the range version!!!





in summary: 3 yr guarentee, free printhead replacment during guarentee, quiet, low running costs, easy to use, looks great, wifi 'N', no chip cartridges, and i got £50 cashback aswell!!!!





Seems like Lexmark have moved away from low-end units and are now building Technology /feature rich sturdy printers, and as they offer a 3yr/5yr guarentee {depending on model} they are giving their customer piece of mind, compared to the competitors usual 1yr!

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