Review: Lexmark Prospect Pro205 PDF Print E-mail

The Lexmark Prospect Pro205 can print, scan, copy and fax. It just can't make you coffee, though you can make yourself a cup while you wait for your job to be completed. The printer produces good quality, is easy to use, and very impressive for the price.

If you said you had a Lexmark printer at home, all the nerdy guys in the office probably laughed at you. With the new range of printers, however, those very same guys may be ordering one for your workplace.

The Lexmark Prospect Pro205  is one of a new series of all-in-one office printers which aim to be both hi-tech and simple to use. This particular model is better suited to the small business or “home office” as it is of medium size (21.5cm x 35.5cm), medium speed (11ppm - 33ppm) and medium feeder capacity (100 pages).

As far as looks go, the Pro205 is small enough to fit snuggly on you desk. It has a sleek, professional design of black and silver so you wouldn't want to tuck it away in a corner. The control panel tilts upwards for easy readability and the display is a 2.4-inch colour LCD screen.

The panel includes all the usual navigation and fax buttons, plus the addition of an “Eco Mode”. Eco Mode is Lexmark's green solution, shipped with all of their latest office printers. A touch of this button will put the machine into auto-duplex mode for your documents or copies. A second touch will put on energy-saving settings.

One of the most remarkable features of the Prospect Pro205 is the ease of use. Right from install, even the most non-tech-savvy person will be at ease. The manual prompts the user to enter the set-up disk. Upon doing this, the disk displays instructions with diagrams and videos to ensure the printer is set up correctly, including choosing the language for the control panel through to installing the cartridges.

Once set up, the Prospect is just as easy to use. You have the option of choosing what you wish to do using the software that comes with the printer, or using the control panel on the machine. The software makes printing photos or documents a dream, giving you a variety of options straight-up and room to customise if you so desire. One of the special functions the software provides is scanning and saving information from business cards, which can definitely save you time.

Despite being aimed at document printing, the quality of photos is surprisingly good. This is accomplished through the use of three modes: “quick”, “normal” and “best”. Quick is good for proof copies, and will save you ink, giving you just enough quality to read the writing and see what the picture is supposed to be. “Normal” is a document mode and “best” is for pictures.

Here's the thing though, by selecting “automatic” the printer detects which mode to use for which element of your document, saving you ink in documents that include pictures you wish to be high-quality. The colours are good too, realistic and appearing exactly as they do on screen.

Other good news is that the cartridges that come with the machine are high-yield, not half-filled as seems to be the norm with new printers. There is also a separate cartridge for each colour – meaning if your one colour runs out there's no need to replace everything. Each colour has its own specific slot in the machine, which is colour-coded.

One criticism though, is that the Prospect is slightly slow for an office printer. If your office is small, however, this shouldn't be much of a problem. The number of ways to connect to it certainly makes up for the speed: you can connect via wireless (with automatic set-up), memory card, usb or across a network, and there is even a plug for an external cd/dvd drive.

The Lexmark Prospect Pro205 comes with a 5 - year warranty plus lifetime priority phone support. In South Africa the printer will set you back R1,219 – R1,946 which in our opinon is well worth it.

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