The Lexmark Prospect Pro205 is conservative but well-featured inkjet printer with scanning and copying facilities

In some respects, the multifunctional Lexmark Prospect Pro205 is a throwback to a different age. The main paper feed is situated at the rear, and resulting prints are fed into the front tray, in a manner reminiscent of older inkjets. And while the LCD panel is attractive, its lack of touchscreen facilities now seems vaguely passé.

But if the Lexmark Prospect Pro205 occasionally feels dated, it's is far from limited when in its features set, offering scan, copy and fax alongside printing. The Lexmark can connect to a wireless 802.11g/n network, and setup here is fairly straightforward.

The memory card slot is useful, and it’s easy to stick in a SD card and print pictures without turning on a PC.

Inkjet printers aren’t great for text, although the Lexmark Prospect Pro205 does produce more admirable results than is normal. The light output produced in fastest mode (12.8 pages per minute) is pleasing to read and less sketchily defined than with many other printers.

Output from the Lexmark Prospect Pro205 produced in middle mode (8ppm) is very palatable for an inkjet, dark and yet with characters that are very adequately drawn.

Top mode offers only a modicum of improvement for its reduced speed of 2.4ppm. Any decent laser will still prove a better choice for text than the Lexmark, but this is definitely an inkjet that you could use for text jobs.

It’s better overall than the Epson BX320FW, even if the latter is speedier in middle mode. Duplexing facilities are included, and the speed dropped by just over 50% in fast and middle modes (6.5 and 3.9ppm respectively).

The Lexmark Prospect Pro205's real forté is graphics, where it delivers handsomely. Fastest mode was promising, producing slightly light but attractive images for a very decent speed of 6.1ppm. But it'll be the higher quality modes that really count for most users, and the Lexmark’s middle output was dark and vivid (and available at a middle mode of 3.5ppm that beat the Epson BX320FW), even on standard paper, with smooth detail and virtually no banding.

High mode produced sparkling results, and its 0.8ppm speed here is adequate. Results were very good on photo paper, with strong shading and plenty of the finest details brought out.

The Lexmark Prospect Pro205 is also a very fine scanner, turning out colourful reproductions of our test images in faster times than the Epson. The extensive fax facilities were easy to set up, and the Lexmark Prospect Pro205’s buttons allow for slick operation of these features. Ink costs are also adequate, with the Lexmark’s four cartridges giving good mileage.

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Lexmark Prospect Pro205: Specs

  • Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax
  • Print resolution 4800x1200
  • Quoted print speed B=33ppm C=30ppm
  • Actual print speed B=12.8ppm C=6.1ppm
  • Scanner optical resolution 2400x4800dpi
  • Supported interface types USB, WiFi 802.11g/n
  • Dimensions (wxdxh) 477x358x204mm
  • Weight 7.9kg
  • Memory Card Drive yes
  • Cartridge costs B=£22 C=£16 x 3
  • Print life (pages) B=510 C=600 x 3
  • 5-year warranty (with registration)
  • Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax
  • Print resolution 4800x1200
  • Quoted print speed B=33ppm C=30ppm
  • Actual print speed B=12.8ppm C=6.1ppm
  • Scanner optical resolution 2400x4800dpi
  • Supported interface types USB, WiFi 802.11g/n
  • Dimensions (wxdxh) 477x358x204mm
  • Weight 7.9kg
  • Memory Card Drive yes
  • Cartridge costs B=£22 C=£16 x 3
  • Print life (pages) B=510 C=600 x 3
  • 5-year warranty (with registration)

OUR VERDICT

The Lexmark Prospect Pro205 is generally a well-planned and executed all-in-one. It has extensive features, and would allow plenty of use in a small office. However, it’s considerably more expensive than the similarly-featured Epson Stylus Office BX320FW. While slightly better, the differences may not be large enough to justify an extra £40.

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