Lexmark Prestige Pro805 Printer Review

The Lexmark Prestige Pro805 is a large multifunction printer when you first take it out of the box: measuring 25×46.5×39.2cm and weighing in at 9.27kg it is definitely a huge add-on to just about any office. Together with other oddly-titled machines (which include such gems as the Impact, Prevail and also Intuition), the wireless-enabled Pro805 can print, copy and scan. Priced at around £120, this printer really does cost a lot of money, thus you have to ensure that it’s capable of delivering your needs before you spend your money.

It’s thus clear that the Pro805 has a myriad of calling cards, but the most unusual of these is the 4.3-inch web-enabled touchscreen display that takes the place of the classic colour TFT panel at the front end of the machine. The sleek piano black finish added a touch of refinement to the traditional Lexmark printer design. The Smart Solutions interface lets you download applications to set up on the printer (like RSS feeds, and one-touch printing for commonly used documents assuming a personal computer is coupled to the printer at the time).

Connectivity is taken care of thanks to 802.11b/g/n or the standard Ethernet port at the back of the device. At the front alongside the touchscreen are standard PictBridge connections (though only for SD, Memory Stick, xD and MMC cards). If you don’t feel like freeing yourself from cords, a USB slot is available at the back just beside the Ethernet port. A great addition for business people is the scanner’s ability to read business cards as well as transfer information in to a communications program of choice (like Microsoft Outlook). There is auto duplexing too. There are four included ink cartridges, one black and three colours ( magenta, cyan and yellow) all XL (high yield) Paper consumables are packed from the front of the machine.

The first time we encountered the touchscreen interface is when we set-up the device, and we were really impressed. It is nice and responsive, as well as user-friendly. It additionally gives a nice visual indication (complete with little animated bubbles!) to inform you the existing ink tank levels. This is the place our affection for the unit starts to wane. In our experience, there’s always an element of any printer to be frustrating, and for the Pro805 it wins the tearing hair accolade for having the most fiddly ink tanks. It takes a lot of jotling just to fit the tanks into the printhead as it would not snap into position. This printer isn’t particularly fast – with our standard test document sent via the USB connection it took one minute, 13 seconds for the first page to emerge from the printer, with lengthy delays of 10 seconds or more between pages thereafter.

Fortunately, text quality with standard 12-point font was fairly good, though at larger sizes there was a small amount of smudging and banding across the text. Print speed was somewhat slow at almost double of Lexmark’s claim of 24 seconds for a 10x15cm photo quality print on photo paper. Print quality was decent, but nowhere in the vicinity of lab quality having noticeable droplets and also over-saturated colours.

Among Lexmark’s perennial claims is the low running cost of their printers, in this case – 1p per page on black text. The Pro805 has four ink cartridges, one black and three individual colour. The best buy is the 100XL cartridges in return program format.