Lexmark Intuition S505 printer review

Impressive quality from this rock-bottom-priced MFP
Photo of Lexmark Intuition S505 printer
£70.65 from Amazon.co.uk

Running a small or home business and need a relatively compact all-in-one printer that will deliver good quality results in comparatively quick time and not cost a fortune on ink and energy? That’s the Holy Grail that all the printer companies are vying with each other to produce in these chilly economic times and the Lexmark Intuition S505 is the latest to enter the fray.

The Intuition S505 is compact – it measures a tidy 178x465x358mm (wdh) without the input and output trays extended, and although it’s not the sexiest machine on the circuit – the thin grey surround on the scanner lid gives a slightly tacky impression next to the otherwise matt black exterior – its featherlight 5.3kg weight means it’s easy to shift around your office.

Wi-Fi as standard
The 100-sheet auto document feeder is the upright fold-out type rather than the preferable flat, fixed variety – but that does mean you save on excess weight and it’s simpler to swap out paper formats than with a slide-in tray at the bottom. The control panel can be tilted up to aid viewing and has the minimum amount of buttons, relying instead on the 2.4in colour LCD screen that dominates the display.

Menus are straightforward to follow, setup is a breeze with the supplied software, and we’re pleased to see that the Intuition S505 includes a memory card slot that covers SD, MMC and xD cards as well as a USB port for flash cards and PictBridge-enabled cameras – something recent Brother printers, for example, have omitted. Wi-Fi connectivity comes as standard together with USB connection to a local PC, but there’s no Ethernet option.

Duplex dawdles
This is a three-in-one multifunction inkjet printer (so there’s no fax capability), and in terms of speed and print quality the results are somewhat mixed. For example, it has auto-duplex built in (and a useful one-touch button on the control panel), but it’s painfully slow. In tests, it was never faster than 5 pages per minute (ppm), with a big pause before doing the second sheet. Again, black text documents in draft mode are impressively solid but we averaged only 18ppm (way below the claimed 33ppm), with the normal setting achieving just 8ppm.

When it came to colour photos, though, both prints and copies zipped out in15 seconds for a 10x15cm snap, and 55 seconds for A4. Copies were also remarkably close to the originals. Prints from PC did have a slightly darker and pinker hue, but scans were much more authentic. We were delighted to see Lexmark offering a three-year guarantee. What may prove the most attractive selling point for this multifunction printer is Amazon’s current decision to sell it for half of its £141 recommended retail price – a bargain £70.65.

Company: Lexmark

Website: http://www.lexmark.co.uk/

Contact: Lexmark on 08704 440044

Positives
  • A fully-fledged MFP for just £70 from Amazon.
Negative
  • Slightly tacky design; slow duplex function.

Verdict

While Lexmark printers have been criticised for poor performance in the past, a serious attempt has clearly been made with the Intuition S505 to make the quality of both text documents and colour photos much better, though speeds are still a little sluggish.