As a technology reviewer, the excitement and thrill of a new product arriving at your home can be an exhilarating experience and this is amplified immensely when you come across something that is truly unique to the market. The Lexmark Genesis is one of these eureka moments I live for in this role and I am more than happy to present it to you today.
The Lexmark Genesis is an All-in-One printer, scanner, copier and fax machine unsurprisingly ‘all in one’ complete device. Nothing revolutionary here, however when admiring the Lexmark, the sleek curves, unusual upright posture and the puzzle over where everything goes leaves you intensely curious. It is only when taking a look inside the front lid that you realise you are peering at the inner workings of something new.
So let’s take a closer look…
Traditionally, All-in-One devices have a squarish look to them, a box of tricks that fulfils your office hard copy tasks. The Genesis couldn’t be more different and instead stands proudly far taller than you might expect. This is due to the new scanning method and requires a fair bit more room to accommodate the process. The additional bloat is cleverly designed into a device that oozes appeal and I would find it quite bemusing if someone didn’t notice this technology curiosity.
With this upright stature and black frontal design, the LCD screen becomes far more of a feature and becomes a little more natural to operate as a result. The surface overall is quite prone to the odd finger-print, but like most things we endure for the impressive look.
The results of your document labours appear at the bottom, with a tray that can be extended when in use. On the right-hand side you will find a multi-card reader as well as a USB port. The USB port can be connected to compatible cameras to print directly or from memory sticks to save and load images. Around the back the power port and USB connection to a computer can be found as well as the paper storage, which can hold 100 sheets at once and features an adjustable lever to easily align your paper depending on its size.
The main spectical though is when you lower the front lid…
Ordinarily when using any scanner, the process of previewing and then waiting for your final scan can be a time tormenting process, especially when this is repeated time and time again with multiple documents. You are usually required to wait while the clever parts inside slowly pass from one end of the page to the other. At the highest settings, this process would take far longer. So how can Lexmark speed up the scanning process?
Rather than waiting for a mechanism referred to as a ‘scan-bar’ to pass from one end of the document to another, a 10MP (Megapixel) camera is used that captures the entire page within just a few seconds. You may notice a red, green and blue flash as the camera achieves the magical results.
Before connecting the Lexmark device to a computer, you are required to insert an installation disk. This is not just a CD with all of the drivers, this is in actual fact a thorough instructional guide that will show you the necessary steps to unpacking, inserting the ink cartridges and finally achieving a communication with your computer. The on-screen images and videos provide a very user-friendly experience and this can be repeated on other computers you may have (skipping the unpacking sections) to easily achieve straightforward installation.
Although the chances are that your computer will be close by to the Lexmark, if you have additional devices – connecting them all to a single device can be tricky unless you make use of the Wi-Fi option.
Wi-Fi allows you to link the Lexmark to your wireless network (router) supporting right up to the ‘n’ standard and the older variants ‘b’ and ‘g’. Installing the provided software on other desktops, notebooks and netbooks – informing the installation that you wish to connect by wireless solves a bunch of potential headaches. For one thing you won’t need a trail of wires and there is no need to switch the USB connection from one computer to another.
In the not so distant past, the only way to add a ‘user-friendly’ experience for any peripheral was for the manufacturer to offer a selection of software applications and guides that would install on a computer. Of course the Lexmark Genesis S815 features the same easy to use software you would expect, however the addition of a 4.3″ LCD screen goes a long way in freeing you away totally from the computer monitor.
If you wish to make a copy of a letter that arrived that same morning, your first instinct would probably be to boot up your computer so you could access the many features this product provides, however there is another way. The in-built LCD colour display allows the user to select by the touch of a finger the exact function they require. The touch screen makes this oh so simple and the menus further simplify the process.
The area of any All-in-One device that will receive the most attention is of course the printing capabilities. Print-outs were sharp with text perfectly clear at various print resolutions – photographs on suitable paper were also impressive. The speed is perfectly acceptable and the best part is yet to come…
For years the one thing that has frustrated me about printers is the inability to print on both sides of a page. The only way around this was to manually feed the paper back into the printer and pray that you did this correctly for every single sheet. This is far from helpful, however the Lexmark Genesis S815 features double sided printing. It is quite magical to watch as the sheet after printing on one side disappears again back into the machine and back out again the right way around to print on the remaining side. This is not only good for saving your precious time but of course the paper required also. You are effectively halving the amount of paper you need, especially when you need to print numerous pages.
The Lexmark features four colours, which include cyan, magenta, yellow and of course black. How many of us have found ourselves running out of one of the single colours and have had to purchase an entirely new replacement, which unfortunately houses all the colours in one single cartridge even though you may have a fair amount of blue and red left. Not exactly economical! This has thankfully been alleviated though, as you can buy each colour in its own individual cartridge.
If in an unlikely event the paper jams inside the printer, a detachable plastic cover can be removed from the back of the device – giving you access to sort out any problems that have occurred.
Connected to a telephone line, the Lexmark Genesis S815 can also act as a Fax machine. Not only can you receive documents via Fax, but you can also send. Simply follow the instructions on the screen or by using the Lexmark software and hey presto, you have sent a fax.
The final option on the LCD display is Smart Solutions. Here by creating a free account on the Lexmark website, you can adjust and add templates and functions that may prove useful to your everyday needs. If you are a music composer, a set of templates are available that prints suitable musical score sheets for the later addition of notation. Other options allow you to print a wall calendar and far more besides adding as much or as little as you require from the immense selection offered online. You can even check your Twitter account and view any RSS feeds if you are really into your online news and social networking.
Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad compatability
Owners of either the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad can if they wish download a free app (application) from the Apple iTunes App Store named LexPrint, which allows you to print any of your stored or just captured photographs directly from your portable device. As long as the Lexmark Genesis is connected to your WiFi network, you can inform the app to use this printing device, select a photograph and within moments you have a hard copy of the result.
- Print Technology: Thermal Inkjet
- Colour Technology: 4 Colour Inkjet – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
- Scan Technology: 10 Megapixel Mono CMOS Image Sensor
- Maximum Print Speed (Draft mono): Up to 33 ppm
- Maximum Print Speed (Draft colour): Up to 30 ppm
- Maximum Print Speed (Normal, Black): Up to 18 ppm
- Maximum Print Speed (Normal, Colour): Up to 11 ppm
- Maximum Copy Speed (Draft mono): Up to 25 cpm
- Maximum Copy Speed (Draft colour): Up to 21 cpm
- Maximum Copy Speed (Normal mono): Up to 25 cpm
- Maximum Copy Speed (Normal colour): Up to 21 cpm
- Print Resolution, Black: Up to 2400 x 1200 dpi
- Print Resolution, Colour: Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Size (mm – H x W x D): 420 x 386 x 321 mm
- Weight: 8.7 kg
Lexmark Genesis S815 certainly wouldn’t look out of place on a modern science fiction TV series with its unique styling and features. With an impressive Flash Scan technology that literally just takes a few seconds to totally scan a whole page in colour, two-sided printing so you can drastically reduce the amount of paper you use, fax capabilities, built-in Wi-Fi, three year guarantee and even an App for owners of Apple portable devices.
It’s not the cheapest All-in-One available today, but it is the first to incorporate the Flash-Scan feature and will stand in either your home or an office upright and extremely proud with its bold presence and dazzling LCD screen.
Features I loved:
- Flash Scan is very quick
- Unique design
- User friendly functionality
Features that lacked:
- Fairly bulky size
- Lid prone to showing your finger prints