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Lexmark Interpret S405 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £59
inc VAT

The S405 doesn't disappoint when it comes to its core functions, but print costs are high


17ppm print speed, USB, 802.11b/g wireless, PictBridge USB, 204x477x338mm

Lexmark’s Intepret S405 is an ugly, grey boxy-looking MFP, but it has plenty of features considering the low price. It can connect via both Wi-Fi and USB, has a memory card reader and there’s a PictBridge port for scanning to and printing from a USB flash drive. The MFP uses individual ink cartridges and a replaceable print head, although the lack of integrated print heads doesn’t seem to have done much to keep down the cost of ink.

Lexmark Interpret S405 controls

While many recent MFPs have glossy touchscreens, the S405 keeps it simple with a two-line LCD screen and a very traditional bank of buttons. It has plenty, as the S405 has full fax capabilities as well as the copying, scanning and printing we’re more used to seeing from home MFPs. In keeping with its fax capabilities, there’s also an ADF that can handle up to 25 pages of 75gsm A4, which is great if you want to copy or scan multipage documents. Unfortunately, the printer has only one paper tray, which has a maximum capacity of 100 A4 pages and is prone to jams if you over-load it.

Print quality is generally good – we were pleased with the sharpness of our mono text prints which, at standard quality, emerged at an impressive rate of 9.4ppm. Draft printing is an even faster 15.2ppm, but it’s pale, grey and slightly rough-looking. Colour documents emerged at a reasonably quick 2.5ppm. We noticed a little banding in solidly coloured areas, but there were few other flaws. The lettering on small font sizes also looked a little thin, but was sharp and clearly legible. We were very happy with the reproduction of shaded graphs, charts and illustrations, too. Unfortunately, print costs are above average: 3.3p per mono page is just about acceptable, but colour documents are unusually expensive at 9.5p per page.

Lexmark Interpret S405

Lexmark has never been renowned for the quality of its photos and, with a full set of pigment-based ink, it’s obvious that photographic reproduction isn’t this MFP’s top priority. However, quality on Lexmark’s PerfectFinish glossy paper is easily good enough for family snaps thanks to pleasingly bright, vivid colours. They can look a little unnatural and some subtle shading and contrast can be lost, but the overall effect is pleasing. A 6x4in photo prints in a little over half a minute and costs 27p, including photo paper.

The 2,400×1,200dpi scanner isn’t the best we’ve ever encountered – scans look at little cold and some low-contrast detail is lost, but we were happy with their clarity. The scanner interface, although very basic, is simple to use, with just a couple of options. We’d have liked it to retain previews between scans, though. Copy quality is also fine – mono copies emerge in less than 30 seconds and are sharp, albeit slightly banded. Colour copies were vivid and clear.

The Interpret S405 does everything it’s designed to reasonably quickly and capably, and covers more than the basics thanks to its ADF and fax. Lexmark’s three-year warranty (when you register) is also inviting. However, very high colour print costs keep the S405 from netting our Budget Buy award. The HP Deskjet 3050A is a better bet, unless you really need a fax or ADF.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 4,800×1,200dpi
Max optical resolution 2,400×1,200dpi
Output bit depth 48-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 17ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 11ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 2m 38s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 3m 42s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 802.11b/g wireless, PictBridge USB
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 204x477x338mm
Weight 7.8kg
Noise (in normal use) 50dB(A)
Duty cycle 5,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 255gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 100
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 100
Duplex (code, cost if option) No


Printer technology thermal inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4.4. – 10.6, Linux
Other inkjet features mono LCD screen, automatic print head alignment, replaceable print head
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £59
Consumable parts and prices £12 each
Price per colour A4 page 6.2p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 200 (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) 170 (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty three years RTB (with registration)

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 4
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 4
Quoted photo durability 100 years
Quoted photo durability source Lexmark

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 10s
A4 document at 150dpi 16s
A4 document at 300dpi 39s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 25s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 3m 42s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 25s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 39s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 3m 8s

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing up to A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards SD, Memory Stick Pro, MMC, xD
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 1,200×1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution 1,200×1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution 300x300dpi