Lexmark Impact S305

  • Category: Printers
Last Updated
January 22, 2010

Editor's Rating
4 Out of 5

  • Inexpensive
  • Wireless printing
  • Fast print speeds
  • Excellent print quality

  • Small LCD display
  • No auto-document feeder

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The Impact S305 multifunction printer from Lexmark is their latest model with an amazingly cheap price tag of around $75. It comes with many features too despite its low price tag, including wireless printing and media card slots. It does have a few shortcomings, but it's a great family all-in-one printer.

As the name states, the Lexmark Impact S305 multifunction device allows you to print, scan, and copy documents all in one device. The low-profile black design is sleek and eye-friendly and at only around 7 inches high, it is on the smaller side so it definitely can blend in and be tucked away in a corner with ease. On the front is a control panel that rotates out to either be flat against the front, completely horizontal, or any angle in between. This panel is very minimal at best, giving out a small 2-inch LCD with a few buttons, including a navigational pad, power button, start/stop button, buttons for print/copy/scan, and a few others. The buttons light up when pressed for dark use too, which is a nice to have. We do have a gripe about the screen's small size, which can be hard to see its contents at times.

On the right side of the front of the Impact S305 are the memory card readers, which allow you to read directly from Memory Stock, Memory Stick Duo, xD, and SD cards (SDHC-supported). This is nice to have as well and other similar budget printers don't have this functionality. There's also a USB port that allows for Pictbridge-enabled cameras to directly connect to the S305 as well.

As mentioned in the introduction, the Impact S305 is wireless-enabled, meaning you can use the built-in wireless print server to connect to your home's wireless network. When connected, any computer on the network can print directly to it without having to be physically connected via a cable. 802.11b & 802.11g are supported with this model, which will cover all home networks. Setting up the wireless connection isn't too difficult as you just insert the included setup CD into a computer and it walks you through the setup process entirely. Keep in mind that for configuration, the printer will need to be attached to the computer through USB (port on the back of the device) temporarily. You also don't have to use the wireless if you don't want to either as it can be connected via USB like a traditional device as well.

The CD included has drivers for Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X. Despite the lack of Windows 7 drivers, Windows 7 users can just use the Vista drivers and they will work just fine. We recommend that you install the included Lexmark software that comes with the device as well because you'll get some configuration and status features that you wouldn't get otherwise. One such feature is the print status dialog that appears each time you print a document. It shows you a progress bar and a graphical representation of how much ink is left in all of your cartridges.

The rear-loading paper tray can hold up to 100 sheets of regular, letter sized paper and the prints will come out though the front of the S305 and into the front holding area. This model does lack any duplexing or auto-document feeding features, but that's due to the low cost of the device.

When you purchase the Lexmark Impact S305, you'll get four new ink cartridges: black, magenta, yellow, and cyan. This single-color ink cartridge system is much nicer than other cheap printers that only have a two cartridge system, black and color, because it allows you to only replace the cartridge that is empty and not the whole thing.

We found that print speeds are extremely fast across the board, with graphics, colors, and black and white. The black text quality of the Impact S305 is extremely good and color photo quality was also very good with little color misrepresentation or similar flaws. Scan quality was also very good, but more so with text scans. Scanning was also relatively quick, but it depends on what scan quality you choose for that particular scan.