The Lexmark Platinum Pro905 colour inkjet multifunction printer is a well-equipped, competent small-office MFP with a twist. Users can access and view web-based applications on its large, touchscreen LCD.

Although few applications are currently available, the concept has potential. Comparisons to the HP Photosmart Premium Touchsmart web All-in-One Printer are inevitable, but HP places a greater emphasis on prefabricated apps for consumers, while Lexmark expects its business users to build their own. Both MFPs are pricey.

The web capability is just one aspect of what Lexmark calls "SmartSolutions", namely the ability to program a button on the Lexmark Platinum Pro905's 4.3-inch display for walk-up, one-touch execution of a sequence of actions (such as saving scanned PDFs to a specific location on a server).

Although the Lexmark Platinum Pro905 includes a few presets, the idea is for you to design sequences for your needs. The SmartSolutions interface for doing so works pretty well, but we would have liked more hand-holding as we ramped up. In addition, the SmartSolutions documentation could be more thorough, as well as easier to find.

The web presets include the ability to view an RSS feed of your choice, as well as to view and print an agenda from your personal Google calendar. You can even punch in your zip code and then map and print the closest sources of replacement Lexmark ink. Lexmark says it is working on a software development kit, too. Note that web access works only if the Lexmark Platinum Pro905 is installed as part of an ethernet or wireless network - not over a USB connection.

The Lexmark Platinum Pro905 is appropriately equipped for its business audience, including two 150-sheet, letter/legal stacked input trays. The top tray can fit snapshot-size photo paper, while the bottom one is removable. You also get a 50-page automatic document feeder and an automatic duplexer.

The somewhat flimsy, 50-sheet output tray slides out from the cover of the top input tray, and can get in the way during paper refills. Media slots accommodate MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, SD Card, and XD-Picture Card; the unit also has a PictBridge port. Lexmark covers the Platinum Pro905 with a five-year parts and labor warranty as long as you register the MFP within 90 days of purchase.

Ink for the Lexmark Platinum Pro905 is a sweet deal, with reasonable running costs.

The Lexmark Platinum Pro905 performed adequately in our tests. At default settings, it printed plain text at a midrange speed of 6.3 pages per minute, and various colour graphics at a slower-than-average pace of 2.5 ppm. Most output looked good whether on plain or special paper, with the exception of flesh tones, which looked mottled and unnatural.

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PCWorld.com

Lexmark Platinum Pro905: Specs

  • Thermal Inkjet colour printer
  • Printer Enhanced Resolution: 4800x1200dpi
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 10,000 Pages
  • Fax Facility
  • Scanner Type: CIS (Contact Image Sensor)
  • Automatic Document Feeder
  • Maximum Paper Size: A4
  • 2x Paper Trays
  • Network Ready
  • Built in Ethernet
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • PictBridge
  • USB 2.0
  • RJ-45
  • 465x392x307mm
  • 11.64kg
  • Thermal Inkjet colour printer
  • Printer Enhanced Resolution: 4800x1200dpi
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 10,000 Pages
  • Fax Facility
  • Scanner Type: CIS (Contact Image Sensor)
  • Automatic Document Feeder
  • Maximum Paper Size: A4
  • 2x Paper Trays
  • Network Ready
  • Built in Ethernet
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • PictBridge
  • USB 2.0
  • RJ-45
  • 465x392x307mm
  • 11.64kg

OUR VERDICT

Lexmark's Platinum Pro905 all-in-one printer offers two good things for any small office: lots of paper handling and cheap ink. These attributes somewhat make up for the device's middling speed and print quality. Consider the Lexmark Platinum Pro905 if you're intrigued by the SmartSolutions capabilities, especially the web access - and if you have the resources to learn your way around them. With some patience and a sense of adventure, you could create some useful apps to make your work life easier.

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