This page contains a selection of quality comparisons between the Lexmark P315 and some of its direct competitors, including the HP Photosmart 375 and the Epson PictureMate. We've also included some comparisons with the Lexmark P6250 all in one printer/scanner/copier, which is also representative of the Lexmark P915 A4 printer.
To compare the following samples side-by-side, open a new window and scroll the page up and down accordingly.
Here is a scan of the P315's print of the Kodak Professional Color Management Check-Up Kit test target file. You can compare it with the Kodak reference print below:
The Kodak reference print (above) is darker and slightly less saturated, especially in the cyan patch.
The HP Photosmart 375 produces an over-saturated result, though density and skin tones are a good match for the Kodak reference print.
The Epson PictureMate result is on the dark side, but the patch colours - apart from the red end of the spectrum - match the Kodak reference print particularly well.
The Lexmark P6250 turns in an almost accurate result, with only the over-blue cyan spoiling things. The blue bias appears to have affected the blacks and greys as well.
In best-quality 'Photo' mode the P315 produces an irregular dither pattern. The relatively large dots, reproduced here at 100% from a 2400ppi scan, are plain to see.
In 'Normal' mode, the P315's dot pattern is tightened up, but some fine banding starts to show through.
In 'Draft' mode the dot pattern is visibly broken, represented as banding in the overall print.
The HP Photosmart 375, like the Lexmark P315, has to make do with large dots and just three ink colours, resulting in a similarly grainy result.
What a difference photo-density inks make in with Lexmark P6250. The image is rendered in a much smoother fashion, boosting detail sharpness too.
The Epson PictureMate benefits from smaller 2.5pl drop sizes and additional red and blue ink colours to the usual cyan, magenta and yellow. However, the skin tone is too yellow.
This is the Kodak reference print.
This Kodak test print examines colour density and detail. The P315 suffers from lack of detail in deep reds.
The darker Epson PictureMate result definitely retains better red detail.
Here is a close up of the red towel reproduced by the P315.
And the Epson PictureMate
The Epson result is almost as good as the Kodak reference print (above).
In this Kodak test image the Lexmark P315 is slightly light in density and a touch of blue-cyan dominates, suppressing the warmer hues.
The Epson PictureMate result is slightly too dark and cyan here too is suppressing the warmer tones.
The Lexmark P6250 is a good match with the reference print (below) for density.
Here is the Kodak reference print.
Finally, a monochrome print from the P315. It's not too bad at all, being slightly on the cool side, but a very good result from such an inexpensive printer.
In conclusion, the Lexmark P315 produces good colours and although there is some obvious underlying dot grain, most will not be too bothered by this. The P315 performs well for the money. We think the 315 did a marginally better job than HP's Photosmart 375, though on balance we prefer the more refined finish produced by Epson's PictureMate, even if it does tend to produce darker prints. Lexmark's own P6250/P915 produces very good results that are free of the P315's dot grain, but per print costs are significantly higher.