Touchscreen User Interface
Touchscreens are all the rage on just about every consumer device these days. Maybe we can thank the whole smartphone and tablet revolution for that. The good news is that the menu navigation on the Genesis is markedly better than what I experienced on the Samsung SCX-5935FN. This interface is colorful and reasonably responsive.
The main menu shows your four main options: copy, scan, fax, and Smart Solutions. The last option is effectively comprised of different “apps” that you can download and use. Beyond that you’ll see quick shortcuts along the bottom for wireless options, Eco Mode, settings, and so forth.
Below the touchscreen are a series of touch-sensitive controls that light up as needed, like the question mark for help, a red X for cancel, and a green diamond to activate functions like the scanner. It’s elegantly laid out and easy to navigate.
The Camera-Based Scanning Utility
Lexmark says you can go from “document to digital in as few as 3 seconds” using this Flash Scan Technology. It certainly is a different way to scan a document, because it is vertical and it basically uses a special camera rather than more conventional scanning technology.
I found that the flap on the front to access the scanning bed opened a little too easily; some sort of locking or clicking mechanism would have proven useful. The hinge does allow for some slightly thicker documents, but not much. When I tried scanning the Scott Pilgrim book (which is just under 200 pages), the lid wouldn’t stay shut without me holding it in place.
Documents can be scanned into a variety of formats and you can choose its end destination. For scanning to the PC (over Wi-Fi), the process was quite fast and the “My Documents” window popped up on my computer almost immediately after the scan was complete. I also appreciate the ability to “preview” the scan on the 4.3-inch color touchscreen before going through with a full scan. The resulting image was vibrant and well detailed.
Print Quality and Speed
Let’s start with the print quality. By and large, I’d say that it is at least as good as something like the Epson WorkForce 600, if not slightly better. Colors are vivid and the resolution holds up for both photos and text. No complaints here.
For print speed, we obviously can’t expect the same kinds of speeds that we’d get from a laser printer, but for an inket, this is more than fast enough for the average home office. Using the “normal” and “automatic” settings throughout, I printed a plain text document. It took 13 seconds for the printer to look like it was doing something after I clicked “print” on my computer; this is over the Wi-Fi connection.
After that, the first minute produced a total of thirteen pages of text. This is considerably below the claimed 33 pages per minute, but you could get a lot closer to that with the “draft” quality setting. To finish printing the 23-page document, the total time elapsed from clicking the print button to the last page being spit out was 2:12. If we take out the initial 13 seconds described above, this works out to just over five seconds per page.
I went in bracing for the worst. I’ve stayed away from Lexmark for years based on those early experiences, but it seems like they’ve drastically improved quality all around. The Lexmark Genesis S815 actually brings some innovation to an otherwise bland AIO printer segment.
The Smart Scan Technology for the scanning portion is certainly interesting and makes for some great images, but the lack of an ability to scan thicker documents can become painful (gravity is not on your side). The lack of a feed scanner might be a deal killer for some folks as well. This is not for power or heavy users at all; the smaller paper capacity and smaller ink cartridges speak to that too.
At the end of the day, the Lexmark Genesis S815 is a solid product that’ll serve the average low to moderate capacity home office. The wireless N is great and the touchscreen user interface is attractive. The current $400 list price (though it’s sold cheaper by certain retailers) can be a deterrent though.
- Aesthetically pleasing design with color touchscreen
- Innovative imaging technology for scanner
- Integrated WiFi-N connectivity
- Good print quality and acceptable print speed
- No feed scanner
- Cannot take on thicker documents, books, etc.
- Easy to accidentally flip open the scanner cover
- Comparatively expensive
Overall Rating: 8.0/10
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