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Lexmark Genesis S815 review

Verdict

It’s expensive, but the near-instant scans and the sheer invention on show make it difficult to dislike

Review Date: 26 Jan 2011

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £167 (£200 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

The world of all-in-ones tends not to be the place to find excitement, but every so often a brave manufacturer attempts something that really grabs our attention. You’ll already have noticed from the photo that the Lexmark Genesis S815 has a totally re-imagined physical design, but the real interest lies in how it scans: inside sits a 10-megapixel camera.

Lexmark Genesis S815To be more specific, it's a 10-megapixel monochrome CMOS sensor with an RGB LED positioned on either side. To scan, the LEDs perform a quick double flash of red, then green, then blue and, with a tacked-on shutter noise for effect, the Genesis produces a composite colour preview image in just three seconds. It’s a scanner, Jim, but not as we know it.

Even when you add the process of getting that scan to a connected PC, the time barely rises. We scanned an A4 colour page into Photoshop at 150ppi in just six seconds, and an A4 photo at 300ppi in just eight – and there’s a range of on-device options for colour fixing, cropping and all sorts before you finish the job. Along with that blistering speed, the accuracy of the colours in our test images was excellent, with deep blacks, vibrant reds and the many graded blues of a summer sky detected and faithfully reproduced.

Lexmark Genesis S815

On the flipside, the 10-megapixel resolution and A4 platen size mean the maximum possible scan quality is 300ppi – this is very much a consumer rather than a professional device. Fine detail was its only notable weakness, with soft, frayed edges on text and small elements of busy photos blending into each other a little in places. Given the short distance between the platen and the lens – we’d estimate around 8in – we’re impressed with what Lexmark has pulled off, but it isn’t quite perfect yet.

The scan technology entirely dictates the unusual upright shape of the Genesis. The standard printer part remains at the base with a 50-sheet output tray at the front; above that, the platen sits almost upright, with a 100-sheet input tray also upright behind the main body. Open the lid towards you and, deep behind the glass, you’ll see the camera and LEDs, reflected via a 45-degree mirror at the rear. It makes for a tall and bulky body, but its desk footprint is no larger than a normal printer.

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User comments

Already doing it.

It's basically what i have been doing for a few years now,but a bit more automatically.I don't own a scanner.If i need to send or copy some written info or sketch's,i photograph it with my digital camera,adjust it in photoshop and then email it or print the copy to give someone.

By Jaberwocky on 27 Jan 2011

No, thank you.

Yeah, I've tried similar approach - 12 megapixel Nikon pro camera vs cheapo 600 dpi HP flatbed scanner. And the scanner (which costs 10x less) beats the crap out of camera. Even the most expensive lenses are plagued by focussing field curvature, distortions, chromatic aberrations, light and resolution falloff towards corners, etc, which is usually not field relevant, but becomes oh so obvious when you try and shoot a flat paper sheet with some text on it. Thank you, but no.

By Lomskij on 27 Jan 2011

Deals?

Does it strike anyone else as a bit odd that the price when reviewed was £200 but the best price offered as a deal is £385, nearly twice the price?? Is this a new definition of Deal?

By struddy on 28 Jan 2011

Deals

£200 cashback if bought before March, if the podcast is to be believed.

By petermillard1 on 29 Jan 2011

£200 Cashback

It states that both in the review and at the bottom of the review. Nothing shady going on, just no point reviewing it at £400 when no one will realistically pay that. After March 31st we'll look at it again, but I'd be surprised if it ever costs the full £400.

Regards
David

By DavidBayon on 31 Jan 2011

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