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A 15 x 10cm photo print in best quality mode took a pretty lengthy 4:31, but switching to normal print mode cut this to 2:03, still quite slow. There's very little difference between the two photo prints, so we recommend you save yourself some time by using normal print.
Photo prints, as we've come to expect from Epson, are of very good quality, with plenty of detail, smooth colour transitions and good response in dark as well as light areas of the image.
The quality of print on plain paper is on the good side of fair, though there are some jagged edges visible on black text print. Colours are bright, though there is some noticeable banding between swathes of the print head, even after we performed the slightly laborious three-stage alignment procedure. Registration of black print over colour is good, with no signs of white halos.
Epson hasn't managed to do much about noise levels on the machine, other than quoting unrealistically low figures. The company quotes 39dBA, which is whisper quiet, but in practice we measured peaks of 67dBA during paper feeds, always the noisiest part of a print. Since the noise level scale is logarithmic, this is a lot louder than the spec.
The Stylus Office BX300F runs on four individual cartridges and these are the only consumables, so the price you can obtain them for governs the machine's running costs. We found them for around £6 each and used the high-yield version of the black cartridge, as this offers better economy.
We produced figures of 2.73p for ISO black print and 6.97p for colour. These are good figures for a low cost inkjet all-in-one and compare well with most of its immediate competition.
Epson's Stylus Office BX300F looks like a high value piece of kit, until you start to run it. You're then clobbered by the slow print speed which means that, unless you're a very occasional user, you're likely to be waiting for print jobs to be completed most of the time. The printer is also as noisy as previous Epson inkjets, despite the company's selective noise measurements. If you can live with these two disadvantages, the feature set and print quality are generally good for an entry-level machine like this, but it's worth shopping around first.
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