Lexmark Pro915 review
Lexmark’s Pro915 is a versatile office printer that produces good quality documents. However, its performance and running costs aren’t what they could be.
It’s not the most elegant printer we’ve ever seen, either – it’s so rigidly rectangular that the corners of the unit are actually quite sharp. However, it includes all the main features that you’re likely to require from an office printer, including scanner, copier and fax machine, plus a 50-page document feeder, and automatic two-sided printing.
The Pro915 supports both Ethernet and WiFi networking, so it’ll fit easily into your existing office setup. The 150-sheet input tray should be fine for most small businesses, and there’s an option to buy a second tray that holds 550 sheets if required. We like the way that the LCD screen displays a countdown of the pages as they print out, but it’s annoying that the printer asks you to confirm the paper size every time you put more paper into the tray.
Print quality is very good – text is a particular strength, producing very smooth, delicate text characters. The Pro915 also produces good photo output even on plain paper. However, its speed is disappointing for a printer costing over £250. Lexmark quotes speeds of 10ppm for black and white printing using the Pro915’s ‘laser-quality’ mode, and 6ppm for colour. We used its standard-quality mode in our tests, but still only got 8ppm and 4.5ppm respectively.
Lexmark’s Pro915 produces excellent print quality, but isn’t very fast or particularly cost effective
Running costs are also something of a mixed bag. Lexmark boasts about the low cost of black printing – at just 1.9p per page – but omits to mention the high cost of its coloured ink cartridges. These cost £25 each – £75 in total for the separate cyan, magenta, and yellow inks – which pushes the cost of its colour printing up to a hefty 12.5p per page.
Those running costs might be acceptable if the initial purchase price of the Pro915 were a bit lower – that’s the trade-off that Brother makes with its low-cost MFC-J430W. But affordable mono printing is only half of the story, and Lexmark needs to do something about its speed and the cost of colour printing if the Pro915 is to compete with rivals such as Epson and HP in the £250+ category.