Lexmark Impact S305 review
What a difference an interface makes. The Lexmark Impact S305 is almost identical to the dearer Interact S605, with the same four-colour print engine and 1,200 x 2,400ppi scanner, so it has the same speeds and output quality across the board. The differences come in features, with the current saving of just over £20 losing you two things: the S605’s duplex unit and its touchscreen.
The former isn’t a huge blow, but a single-line LCD text panel is about as far from the icon-led touch interface of the S605 as it’s possible to get. It makes copying and scanning a chore, forcing you to wade through umpteen menu options just to alter the page size or remove the white borders on a photo copy. The S605’s Interact nickname is fitting; calling the S305 Impact is laughable by comparison.
It isn’t a bad all-in-one, though, as its print engine is capable of producing good results. Those used to the combined cartridges of old Lexmark printers will breathe a sigh of relief to see individual inks, with a pigmented black and dye-based colours ensuring solid text and vibrant images. Photos are grainier and less punchy than on the top-end Canons, but Lexmark is finally back into the second tier in the print quality league.
It’s also quick, producing mono text that’s only slightly thin and feathered at 9.4ppm, with colour at 4.5ppm. Better still is that best-quality 6 x 4in photos take just 30 seconds, with A4 prints just over a minute. That the quality remains high is remarkable. Scans and copies slow things down a little and scanned images aren’t totally sharp and colour-accurate, but it’s a solid all-rounder.
All this comes cheap, with the Lexmark Impact S305 costing just £59 exc VAT. Quality is just about up there with the cheapest Pixmas, but for a budget device we’d argue that the Lexmark’s Wi-Fi and card readers, along with fast printing and copying speeds, make it a better choice. If you can stretch to the S605 we’d recommend it for ease of use, but for less than £60, the S305 won’t disappoint.
|Resolution printer final||4800 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||33PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||9.7p|
|Ink type||Dye-based colour, pigment-based black|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||465 x 338 x 178mm (WDH)|
|Copier rated mono speed||25cpm|
|Fax page memory||N/A|
|6x4in photo print time||30s|
|A4 photo print time||1min 5s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||9.4ppm|
|Colour print speed||4.5ppm|
|Input tray capacity||100 sheets|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|Other memory media support||MMC|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Other operating system support||Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later|