Here at Crave towers, we're pretty old. We remember the days when men were men, women were women and printers were modular: that is, they had three main parts -- the case, some jammed paper and a flashing red light.
Today, printers are a hell of a lot smarter than we give them credit for. Take Lexmark's new all-in-ones, for example -- the newly unveiled range have iPod-style touchscreen control pads, connect to the Internet wirelessly over 802.11n Wi-Fi and can receive RSS feeds. RSS feeds, we tell you. What's the world coming to?
The Lexmark Interact, the company's top-of-the-range home-office machine, packs all of the above. Its RSS feed reader lets you peruse the latest business news, weather
forecasts or sports bulletins while you wait for whatever guff it is you've printed to hit the paper tray. The 11cm (4.3-inch) capacitive touchscreen, dubbed myTouch, also serves as a control panel, presenting clear, context-sensitive menus that give quick access to the most common printing, scanning and copying tasks.
The Interact includes some pretty spiffy features, including the ability to email newly scanned documents to specific users or groups (all at the touch of a virtual button), and an eco mode that saves paper by automatically duplexing copied documents.
Should none of those features rock your world, Lexmark also says documents from the new range will cost no more than 1p per page and that it's launching SmartSolutions, an iPhone-style app store that lets you download new features on the fly. Now that's big pimpin' and small pimpin' -- at the same time.
The Lexmark Interact (and its high-end touch-equipped Prestige and Platinum brethren) are available to buy now for £199, £299 and £399 respectively. We'll have a full hands-on report as soon as our test unit arrives. In the meantime, click through for a closeup of the nifty touchscreen.
The touchscreen, powered by Flash, looks very swanky and gives you access to context-sensitive menu options, making it very easy to use.