Some printers (eg, the) try to hide the fact that they're printers behind layers of glossy plastic or designs that are somehow meant to be more living room than office cubicle. Lexmark's Genesis gets around the problem of looking like a printer by not looking much like a printer at all. Instead, the company's latest AIO resembles a trouser press.
No, honestly, it does. Look at the picture gallery above and try to tell us you wouldn't try to get your slacks flattened in something that looks exactly like that. Although admittedly we’ve never seen a trouser press with a paper tray out the back and an LCD touchscreen display. That might just be because we haven't been delving closely enough into the exciting world of trouser-press technology.
Moving away from our pants for a second, the practical upshot of the Genesis' admittedly unusual design is that it takes up less desk space than many comparable AIO units, opting instead to occupy more vertical space. If you're in a cramped SOHO environment, this could suit you very well indeed.
The Genesis is a touch-screen enabled AIO, covering all the bases of printing, faxing, scanning and photocopying. Lexmark rates its performance with printing as "up to" 33 draft black pages per minute and "up to" 30 colour pages. It's ensured with Lexmark's Smart Solutions technology inbuilt, which gives access to a range of touchscreen enabled print solutions. It's capable of double-sided printing. On the side sits a media card reader. And for further connectivity it's capable of USB or 802.11n connection, although curiously not Ethernet.
It's also the first AIO we've hit that does what can truly be described as photocopying. Sure, plenty of other AIO units will scan then copy, but the Genesis' take on copying (and scanning) is a little different. Rather than a mechanical scan head that slides over the scanned work, the Genesis uses a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, taking quite literally photographs of anything placed on the scanner plate. This isn't just technology for the sake of it. Lexmark's claim is that the Genesis can scan in under three seconds, making it exceptionally fast.
Setting up the Genesis involves more than the usual amount of sticky blue tape to remove from the printer, as well as following the onscreen prompts for cartridge installation and network connection if desired. The installer CD only comes into play when connecting a PC up to the Genesis, although we were rather dismayed to discover that it wants 239MB for its install duties. For what is still a printer, that feels excessive to us.