Lexmark Interact S605 review:

Lexmark Interact S605

The printer is also one of many to feature Lexmark's newest Vizix individual ink cartridges: one pigment black for text and dye-based yellow, cyan, and magenta cartridges for printing color photos. Using the XL capacity cartridges, which offer a better overall value for the page yields, we calculate the price of one page of black ink to cost 5 cents per page and 3 cents per page for color. Both costs are average for a multifunction printer.

The Interact S605 ships with minimal paperwork to conserve paper, and you can access most of the instructions, warranty information, and promotional offers on the CD included in the box. Along with the drivers that support Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X, the CD also automatically installs several Lexmark productivity programs onto your computer. The Lexmark Toolbar gives you a shortcut bar on top of your Web browser for easy-access printing. Lexmark's Productivity Studio and Imaging Studio programs provide an easy way to auto-edit or crop your photos and include them on a series of creative projects, and the Lexmark Service Center acts as a troubleshooting aide should you encounter a snag in the printing process. We also enjoyed using the onscreen progress bar that automatically pops up when you print. It shows you the progress of your job in an easy-to-read percentage bar (the LCD on the control panel also shows the progress), displays a graphic representation of your ink depletion and a warning when the paper trays are running low. A similar message also shows up on the screen, and you can even see exactly what page the printer is working on at a quick glance.

The Lexmark Interact S605 excelled in all four of our output speed tests, although it isn't quick enough to beat out the reigning champ of print speeds, the Epson WorkForce 610. Lexmark comes in second to Epson in text, graphics, and presentation documents, but takes first in the single photo speed tests at 2.07 pages per minute at its default "Normal" setting.

Speed tests
Presentation speed (PPM)  
Photo speed (1 sheet)  
Color graphics speed (PPM)  
Text speed (PPM)  
Epson WorkForce 610
Lexmark Interact S605
HP Photosmart C6380
Canon Pixma MP560
Kodak ESP 5

Horsepower aside, photos printed on the Lexmark S605 are severely lacking in quality. Similar to the Pro905, which also uses Vizix ink, the Interact S605 puts out excellent quality black text prints that rival many of the monochrome laser printers that we've tested, but we remain dissatisfied with the emerging photo snapshot and color graphic documents. Prints suffer from jagged edges and smearing that ultimately create an inferior snapshot, not to mention that the color photos look inferior compared to the original. As long as you aren't expecting photo kiosk-quality snapshots, the Interact S605 remains a worthwhile purchase.

Service and Support
Lexmark covers the Interact S605 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. You 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 training in both its printers and general computing on its Web site and at authorized locations.

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