Review Price £252.00
Lexmark claims speeds of 17ppm for black and 10ppm for colour print from the Pro915 but, as so often, these figures are rather wishful. Our five-page black text print gave 5.9ppm and the 20-page document took this up to 7.6ppm, still under half the rated figure. The five-page black text and colour graphics test gave 4.3ppm.
These are reasonable speeds, just not that close to the figures on the box. The duplex speed is hampered by the ink drying time and our 20-side test document gave only 3.3 sides per minute.
Copying from the flatbed or the ADF was relatively quick, with a single colour page taking 29s and the five-page black text copy taking 57s. 15 x 10cm photo prints took between 34 and 40s each, depending on source. This is a very good photo speed for this class of printer.
The Vizix 2 engine, which combines reformulated ink with redesigned cartridges and is claimed to give cleaner, more accurate printing. The results we saw live up to those claims, with sharp, largely artefact-free black text print, of similar quality to HP and Canon.
Colour print is also good, with bright, solid colours and good registration of text over backgrounds. Our colour copy was unusually close to the original, with only slight haloing of some colour hues. Photos are a little over-bright, though this can be compensated for.
The four independent ink cartridges plug directly into the head and are pretty easy to install. They are available in two capacities and there is a third black cartridge option, with the same capacity as the XL one, but at a much lower price. We wonder, therefore, who would ever buy the standard XL cartridge? Using the best prices we could find gives ISO costs of 2.3p for black and 7.7p per colour, both of which are very acceptable for this type of machine.
Lexmark printers see more price discount over their lifetimes than most makes and this machine’s predecessor ended up at around £80. At twice that price, this machine would look like good value, but at the £250 which it’s current fetching, it’s an expensive choice. It prints well and reasonably fast (though not when duplexing), is cheap to run when printing black, has a convenient touchscreen and can print from phones and tablets. Unfortunately for Lexmark, so can lots of other machines costing considerably less.
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