Lexmark's recent launch of new all-in-one machines is divided into two groups, Home Office and Professional. Judging by its name, the Home Office series is designed for the SOHO market, but in our opinion the Professional series is better tuned to this kind of use and benefits from an extended, five-year replacement guarantee and higher capacity, XL cartridges as standard. Both groups of machines still use the same inkjet print engine, though, so you need to check out the extra features in this series and weigh them up against the higher price.
Lexmark has done a good job in styling the Prevail Pro 705. Although not that different from the previous range, its clean lines, with large radius curves much in evidence and sparing use of high gloss black, makes it look purposeful.
Its completely horizontal Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) is neat and efficient and the flatbed scanner under the lid has a 4800 x 1200ppi CIS scanner head, which is an unusually high resolution for a business all-in-one.
The control panel includes a 61mm, full-colour LCD display, as well as a large navigation button square, a full number pad for fax numbers and an interesting button marked Eco Mode. The first time you press this, it switches all output from the machine to duplex, while the second time it introduces a lighter, ink-saving print mode.
Up to 150 sheets of paper can be fed from the front paper tray, which is a better solution than the near-vertical rear trays in the Home Office series of machines. A pull-out paper support directly above the tray handles printed pages as they leave the machine.
The same card slots and dual-purpose USB socket as in the Interpret, tested last week, handle printing from SD, MemoryStick and xD cards, as well as USB drives and PictBridge cameras. At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, as well as for phone line and telephone handset.
Installing this machine for wireless is a pain. It supports WPS, but if your router only supports WPA - and a lot of well known ones, like BT's Home Hub 2, don't support WPS - it won't connect automatically. This means you have to use a temporary USB cable, but then, during installation, the software does an update check and tries to download a software update.
As with the Interpret, this download failed with a corrupt file after spending 15 minutes or so downloading. This is long enough for the Prevail to suspend itself and when the install software looks for the printer to set up wireless via USB, the printer doesn't kick start itself. Unless you wake it up from the control panel, the software sits there waiting forever. Lexmark really needs to sort things out - wireless installation should be a lot easier than this.