Lexmark Impact S305 review: Lexmark Impact S305

Performance
If you weren't already impressed by the bundled features and ease of use, you'll be confident knowing that the Lexmark Impact S305 laid down total domination in the race for print speed. The best example of the $100 printer's unreal gains over the rest is its 7.31-page-per-minute (PPM) text speed. Next to the $200 HP Officejet J6480's paltry 5.54 PPM, the Impact S305 should start looking more appealing by now, but it's not just the text speed. In fact, the S305 bested the competition in text speed, color graphics speed, single-sheet photo speed, and presentation speed. If all you're looking for is an inexpensive and superfast printer, the Impact S305 deserves your undivided attention.

Output speed test in pages per minute (PPM)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation Speed (PPM)  
Photo Speed (1 Sheet)  
Color Graphics Speed (PPM)  
Text Speed (PPM)  
Lexmark Impact S305
4 
1.3 
4.49 
7.31 
HP OfficeJet J6480
2.36 
0.83 
2.17 
5.54 
Canon PIXMA MX330
2.17 
0.93 
1.88 
5.54 
Kodak ESP5
2.21 
1.37 
2.13 
4.39 
Brother MFC-685CW
1.3 
1.3 
1.99 
2.76 

We maintain a similar opinion about the S305's print quality. The black text prints aren't lacking at all--in fact, they are close to laser quality, which we've come to expect from Lexmark. Lines appear rich, with a slight hint of wicking that produces a slightly blurred image, but such imperfections are acceptable with inkjet printers, especially ones at this price. We also have few complaints about the quality of color prints and snapshot photos. After closely examining several sample prints, we found all of the 4-inch-by-6-inch photos pointedly reproduced with a strong color gamut and little loss to overall quality.

Service and Support
Lexmark covers the Impact S305 with a generous three-year warranty that includes lifetime priority phone support. The warranty will transfer ownership in case you want to sell the printer within the five years. In addition, the Lexmark Web site's AnswerBase provides a comprehensive list of FAQs, how-tos, dockets with device specifications, warranty extension information, and driver updates. Users having trouble with the printer can contact tech support via live chat or e-mail (Lexmark claims to respond within one business day) from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Finally, Lexmark also offers customer service training in both its printers and general computing at designated authorized locations. Online courses are also available.

Find out more about how we test printers.

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