Lexmark’s Intuition S505 has an array of features to keep both photo enthusiasts and home office users happy. The latter may be attracted to the duplex facilities and the ability to wirelessly connect over 802.11b/g – although there’s no Ethernet support. Photo enthusiasts may like the clear 2.4in LCD screen and versatile memory card drive (supporting most common formats).
The Intuition S505 is a scanner and copier too, and the 100-page auto-sheet feed nicely complements these facilities. The scanner gives bright results, with reasonable colour fidelity.
Traditionally, Lexmark has fared well on features but fallen down on performance. The S505’s is very respectable, though not as fast as you might like given the price. Up to 33 pages per minute (ppm) is blithely promised by Lexmark, but even in Quick Print mode we could only coax a maximum of 12.5ppm.
Mind you, the S505’s lowest quality setting is usable, with characters rendered cleanly. In Normal mode (7.7ppm) characters are dark and well formed. Best mode is a slight improvement, although the rate of 2.4ppm may put many off.
The auto-duplex feature disappoints. In Quick Print mode, print speeds fell from 12.5ppm to just 6.3ppm, while in Normal mode they fell from 7.7ppm to 3.8ppm. Home users happy to go away and collect the job later may not mind.
The S505 shines when printing colour graphics to normal paper; it’s not as impressive on photo paper. Used with normal media, the fast mode of 6ppm produces light and slightly banded, but attractive, results. In Normal mode, images are vibrant. There’s very light banding, but you have to look hard to make it out, and the overall results are eye-catching. In Best mode speeds drops to well under a page a minute, and colours are a little lighter but well formed and realistic. On photo paper prints lack that extra life that you might expect.
Lexmark’s Intuition S505 is almost a very good printer, but it’s a bit slow and pricey. The duplex function is also disappointing. Wait for the Intuition S505 to fall close to the £100 mark and it’ll be well worth snapping up.