Earlier this month, Lexington, Ky.-based Lexmark refreshed its line of inkjet printers with five models focused on home office use and another four in the professional category. Although each model has the standard alphanumeric model number, Lexmark also has given each unit a model name, hoping to match the printer's "personality" with its target user, as well as ease customers' confusion when comparing printers. The CRN Test Center was recently given an evaluation unit of the Prestige model, also known as the Pro805.
The Prestige is a 3-in-1 printer that, like the other new models, is rated to print 33 pages-per-minute in mono and 30 pages-per-minute in color. It can connect to a network via support for Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and, according to Lexmark, is one of a few in the lineup of the first Web-connected AIO (All-In-One) inkjet printers in the world. One of the noticeable features on the Prestige is its vibrant 4.3-inch LCD capacitive touch screen, called Lexmark myTouch, which also doubles as the printer's control panel. The screen is permanently fixed at a comfortable angle, but has the glossy coating that makes it a magnet for fingerprints.
As with many of the configurations, connecting the Prestige to our Wi-Fi network was simple. The printer has integrated wizards that can walk the user through an automatic setup, or a more advanced user can configure the settings manually. Once connected to a network, the printer can further be connected to Lexmark's SmartSolutions Web site.
SmartSolutions is a set of customizable, one-touch shortcuts that can be downloaded onto the printer from Lexmark's Web site. There also are a number of widgets that support using the device's screen to display things such as RSS feeds, Google Calendar and online photo albums. We had a slight problem getting the printer connected to the SmartSolutions account we set up on the Web site, but it appears to have been a connectivity issue on our network's side. Once we got that straightened out, the Web-enabled features, which also include things such as scanning to an e-mail address, worked as expected.
A new concept in the printer market, Lexmark designed all the 2009 models so that they use the same print engine and technology, enabling selecting the correct cartridge easier and more affordable. The Prestige and its top-of-the-line sibling, the Platinum (aka Pro905), also can use a special black ink cartridge that is priced at $4.99. The company claims that this makes mono print jobs cost only a penny per page.
While the official specifications show print speeds to be 33/30 ppm for draft prints, normal and laser quality jobs are respectively rated at 16 and 10.2 ppm. Our testing in normal mode came in at about 15 ppm. Print quality was excellent, specifically with photographs printing extremely bright and detailed even on standard paper.
Additional features include a duplexer for two-sided printing, support for USB and multiple memory card types and a one-touch Eco Mode that adjusts various settings automatically to save paper and energy. The printer also is capable of scanning and importing up to eight business cards at a time and storing data such as the contact's name and address and also the card image. This data can then be synced with address book software.
Overall, we liked the Prestige. The attractive, relatively small (9.83 x 18.31 x 15.42-inch) printer proved itself as a performer capable of handling its maximum duty cycle of 10,000 pages per month. And with registration of the product, Lexmark extends the one-year warranty to five years.