Lexmark Interpret S405 - Wireless Inkjet All-in-One - Lexmark Interpret S405

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The new model range brings slightly more realism to print speeds. Lexmark claims 17ppm and 11ppm for black and colour prints, respectively, but we saw 5.36ppm for five pages of black text, rising to 6.78ppm on the longer, 20-page document. The black text and colour graphics print retuned a speed of 4.11ppm.

These are not bad speeds for an inkjet all-in-one, though are again lengthened by the sometimes prolonged processing of pages before the start of print - we saw 26 seconds in one instance.

Most all-in-ones have enough intelligence and page memory to print while they're scanning in a multi-page copy, but the S405 only goes half way. Although it starts printing while still scanning a page, it doesn't start scanning the next page until it has finished printing. Even so, its time of 1:16 comfortably beat the HP OfficeJet 6500, tested recently and in the same price bracket, which took 2:20.

15 x 10cm photo prints varied from 43 to 52 seconds, which is very impressive for a machine in this class. This goes for photo reproduction, too, though perhaps we'd drop the 'very'. Our test photos showed good levels of detail in both light and dark areas of the images and although there was less red than in the originals, this is less of a fault than too much red.

Colour on plain paper, as in business graphics, is clean with no visible dither patterns and registration of black text over colour is excellent. A colour photocopy shows less lightening of coloured areas than in some of the machine's rivals, too.

Black text is generally clean, though under a loupe you can see some feathering into the paper fibres and overall print is to a higher standard than from earlier Lexmark all-in-ones.

Despite the new Vizix ink system, this printer continues in a Lexmark tradition of expensive consumables. Cartridges are again available as normal and Return Programme versions, with a discount on the Return Programme items, as long as you undertake to send the empties back to Lexmark.

Cartridges are also available in two capacities, but even using the high-capacity, XL ones, the costs come out at 4.70p for black and 11.83p for colour. Compare this with the Canon PIXMA MX320, a machine costing a mere £75, which gives equivalent costs of 4.09p and 8.78p. All these costs include 0.7p for paper.

High consumables costs have nothing to do with print technology, of course, and are purely a marketing decision on how much to charge for the cartridges. Page costs continue to be hidden to most new purchasers and can come as an unpleasant shock.

Verdict

This is the first of Lexmark's new range of inkjet all-in-ones we've examined and in general improvements are impressive. While ink costs are still too high, the extra economy of individual ink cartridges, where you don't have to throw a tri-colour cartridge away when one ink is exhausted, is some compensation. Speeds are good and print quality is improved, getting closer to Canon and HP standards.

Kevin Webster

December 16, 2009, 12:03 am

I bought the Lexmark s405 printer a few weeks back. It has nice looks and the ability to connect wirelessly. It is also very quiet which is a advantage. In terms of value overall though, I would have to rate this as very low (1 out of 10) - this is due to the fact that Lexmark have now introduced to their new inkjet printers - including the s405 - a 'lockdown' microchip.





This chip means you have absolutley no way to refill (either yourself ot high street shop) any of the cartridges unless you send it back to lexmark or buy a new one. The microchip tracks the ink levels and once empty will not function until you have replaced it. Even if you leave the label intact and refill the cartridge before it has run out it remembers the previous ink level - so either way Lexmark have you over a barrel. (A quick google search of US sites will confirm the above).





The really frustrating thing is that even if you have ink in other cartridges of the printer, the printer will not fucntion until you replace the one emty one. This means you need to have spares to hand or put up with a printer thats out of action until you get to the shops!





My new s405 is now for sale!

Geoff Bond

June 11, 2010, 9:29 pm

First of all the good news. The printer prints, the fax faxes, the copier copies and the scanner scans. Even the WiFi connection configured itself seamlessly. Now for why I have put it up for sale:


a) The scanner is incapable of scanning correctly to pdf. In a multipage document some pages are upside down, some the right way up, some are rotated 90 degrees clock-wise, and some rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise. It is impossible to avoid it happening and impossible to rectify it manually. Even my distributor repeated the errors on his own system and has been trying, without success, to obtain a fix from Lexmark.





Secondly, the scans make enormous file sizes - typically 1 mb per page - so a five page document takes up 5 Mb of space!





I store electronically a wide range of office documents from bank statements to signed contracts. For me, and on this one reason alone, Lexmark is unfit for purpose.





b) The outrageous running costs. I had been led to believe that Lexmark had mended its ways - but not for me. The Return program is not even available where I live (Cyprus) so I'm stuck with single use cartridges at 20 Euros a piece.





Lexmark never again.

IanJ

September 27, 2010, 8:59 pm

Hugely disappointing - 2/5





OK, so when the printer decides to print, the quality is actually very nice. The scanning was also good.





However, within the first day of using my printer, 5 different error messages had appeared. I accept that printers go wrong, but to this degree, and on the first day is just not acceptable. Some error messages hardly made sense (for example, I had apparently not inserted the cyan cartridge... I clearly had - and correctly - then it printed the document when I 'OK'd the error message.)





The instruction manual and online help is FAR from helpful, and only seems to cover a small amount of what is actually needed by the consumer. There is no explanation or help with the on-printer controls.





I can't wait until my printer has deteriorated further. Ha.


Not reccommended.

anne

April 30, 2013, 9:56 pm

I had constant error messages and phonecalls at my expense to try and fix the problem and finally had a replacement sent to me and so far so good this round...

Disappointed

March 1, 2014, 11:17 pm

This is one brand I will never buy again. I have put up with the Lexmark S405 for 2-3 years, and it has only printed without problems about 20% of the time. The other 80% of printing jobs have required computer and printer reboots, reconnections with the printer, and fussing around for 20-30mins EACH JOB.
Apart from the huge liability one buys with this printer in the form of ink cartridges that last no more than 6 months for the occasional home user, the unreliability of the software makes this printer a really poor choice of printer/MFC. I will be looking at the other brands, spending a little more, and probably going for a laser printer/MFC since the toners never dry out. I'm certain this will be cheaper in the long run, for money and for my time.
I rate this printer 1/10. Avoid it like the plague.

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