An all-in-one inkjet printer with a scanner, copier, fax, card slots, built-in Wi-Fi, a duplexer, individual ink cartridges, a sheet feeder and great output should cost about £300. So why does Lexmark want just £170 for the Prospect Pro205? It has more features than you can shake a sizeable number of sticks at, but the elephant in the room is its cheaper, less ambitious sibling.
The 'Pro' in this printer's moniker points to its business focus. As well as standard scanning and printing capability, it has a built-in fax with dedicated dialling buttons on the front-mounted panel, and a sheet feeder on top of the scanner so you can let it get on with the job while you head off to make coffee. Unfortunately, in many cases, there's no need to hurry back.
Compare the Pro205 directly to the cheaper, less feature-rich Lexmark Impact S305, which lacks a fax and feeder, and it trails by a considerable margin. While the S305 completed our 10-page text test in just 58 seconds at draft quality, the Pro205 took 1 minute and 43 seconds. When the quality was raised to normal, the Pro205 took 2 minutes and 6 seconds to complete our test, while it took 5 minutes and 44 seconds at best quality. Comparatively, the S305 took 1 minute and 24 seconds at normal quality and 4 minutes and 39 seconds at best quality. The Pro205 has a duplex facility, confusingly invoked using a button labelled 'eco', that increased the draft print time to 2 minutes and 24 seconds.
On a brighter note, the Pro205's results are excellent, so you may not mind waiting for them to arrive. We'd be perfectly happy using the draft results in a business context, and using the highest quality settings gives results as good as a laser printer's output.