Speedy scanning with style: Lexmark Genesis S815 review

Two features distinguish the Genesis S815 all-in-one from Lexmark. Most obviously the scan bed is almost vertical. Less noticeable is the use of a camera-style sensor. Advantages are practically instant previews very rapid scans silent operation a reduced footprint and the effective elimination of distortion when scanning books.

An A4 page was scanned and transferred to our computer in less than 4 seconds. Scan quality was good although as often happens the greens were on the bright side and some light blues were purer than the originals. Very slight banding was visible in our copying test.

Like some other Lexmark printers the Genesis supports a range of SmartSolutions – mini applications that run in the printer. They include displaying and/or printing tweets Facebook activity RSS feeds and photos from services such as Picasa and MobileMe.

We appreciated the vertical slider on the feed tray to adjust the paper guide width and the cubbyhole behind the lower front flap for the cleaning cloth. The touchscreen is clear bright and responsive.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup for the 802.11n interface makes setup a snap and manual configuration does not require an initial USB connection.

ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Sprint OCR software is bundled with the Genesis. Other features include printing directly from PictBridge devices USB storage and memory cards. We liked the option of printing a proof sheet marking a selection then scanning it to print a batch of images. Plain paper gives above-average results but we still aren’t really satisfied with Lexmark’s Premium photo paper.

As for speed our A4 business document showed a first page out time of 30 seconds with a run-on speed of almost 4ppm. A 10 x 15 cm photo emerged after 44 seconds.

Overall the Genesis matched or exceeded the quality of other inkjet all-in-ones we’ve recently tested but it is relatively expensive – especially in the absence of a second paper tray – though it does score for looks and scanning speed.

Available from Lexmark retailing for $449.
APC rating: 7/10