|Lexmark Prevail PRO705 Product Review|
Friday, 09 April 2010 10:19
Some years before I had won a Lexmark and found it to be one of the worst colour printers I have ever encountered. Some of my earlier experiences still irritate in this product but I must admit that the performance was a pleasant surprise.
The printer is well packed in the box with the instructions in a folder right on top. I particularly liked the instructions and the CD as it gave very clear indications as to what had to be done at each stage. For the male that knows how to do everything, I would encourage them to read the instructions and follow them on the CD as there are a couple of things that could trip up those that insist on not reading them.
The Prevail 705 is a combination printer, scanner, copier and fax unit and is very compact in design with duplex printing capability. I was impressed by the size of the unit, 465mm long 581mm deep (caused by the sticking out paper tray) and 250mm high.
Connectivity is excellent. It came standard with USB, Ethernet and wireless features. Once set up all the testing was done using the wireless.
For those with memory cards it has interfaces for these at the front of the printer. It also caters for automatic feed of up to 50 pages so it is quite capable of performing in a small office as well as a home environment.
Following the setup instructions it took about 20 minutes to remove from box, remove packing, insert the English instructions onto the front of the printer, configure fax details and connect wirelessly to my router and produce a test page.
The control panel features a small colour display screen for operator communication and preview of pictures. I also found that it displays the telephone number of incoming calls automatically.
Quality is for me what most people want out of a printer and then the speed at which it produces. Lexmark does not fall short here. To test it thoroughly I printed 200 slides of powerpoint 3 slides per page, duplex in under 15 minutes. The quality was excellent but my usual criticism of inkjet remains, the paper does wrinkle a bit and feels quite damp. It is possible to set it to increase the wait time between prints if you want to which would be useful for photographic reprints.
The duplexing was fascinating to watch and also one of the potential downfalls of the product. Once the side one is printed the panel informs you not to remove the paper. A two second wait is followed by the paper being taken back into the printer and the second side printed. Very neat but removing the paper before it is finished causes an error even if you know that there is only one page to print. Resolving the error requires removal of the flush fitting duplex unit at the back of the printer and re-inserting it, which is easily done.
The printer came with OCR software which seems to work reasonably well but I could not get one of the big advertised features, scanning up to 8 business cards directly into contact management software, to work. Maybe it is me but there is no reference to it in the manuals as to how to get it to work.
On the downside the paper cartridge is proud of the unit which detracts a little from the unit. My biggest complaint is the need to extend the paper catcher even further from the unit. Failure to do so and the output is all a mess on the desk or the floor.
In general though I liked the unit. It is functional, quiet and environmentally friendly in going to sleep as well as duplexing. It will also allow you to take two separate pages and combine them into one duplexed sheet, which is environmentally and economically friendly.
The features are there and with the easy to set up wireless, USB or Ethernet cable interface this printer does seem to cater for most people’s requirements.
A popular computer outlet prices the unit at R2300 and replacement cartidges (Four, one for each colur) are about R250 each. For home and small office use it is very good in meeting requirements and was a more pleasant experience to test than I had expected initially.
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