Lexmark Interact S605 review

Lexmark’s Interact S605 got off to a slightly rocky start, as the driver software included with the printer didn’t work with OS X 10.6 on our Mac, leaving us to search Lexmark’s website for a new version of the software. The printed QuickStart guide didn’t get us started all that quickly either, and we had to delve into the bulky reference manual before we could even figure out how to install the ink cartridges.

Fortunately, things did pick up after that. Once we’d downloaded and installed the new printer software the S605 proved very easy to use, and made good use of its touch-sensitive control screen to provide plenty of feedback and useful options. We liked the way the screen provided a countdown of the number of pages that had been printed for each job, and the touch controls also allow you to quickly turn on options such as two-sided printing, or to monitor the ink levels.

The S605 produces very good text quality, although Lexmark’s rather optimistic quote of 33 pages per minutes is based on using the low-quality draft mode. When we selected normal quality for our text documents we got a far more modest 5ppm instead. Oddly, the printer performed a little better with photo prints, turning out a more respectable 2ppm with our A4 photo files.

The photo quality on plain paper was acceptable, but not outstanding, although the print quality did improve noticeably when using less porous glossy paper. Even so, the use of just the basic four CMYK colours meant that the S605 doesn’t quite match the bolder colours of more specialised rivals such as the five-ink Canon Pixma and the six-ink Epson Stylus Photo.

Touch-screen controls and useful on-screen feedback make the Interact S605 easy to use

OUR VERDICT

Printing costs are about average at 4p per page for black-and-white printing, and 10p for colour pages, when using Lexmark’s high-yield cartridges. However, the £200 price tag seems a little steep given its overall performance and quality. It certainly makes a good general-purpose office printer, but seems a little expensive when compared to rivals that offer similar features and performance for around the £150 mark.

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