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Epson Stylus Office BX320FW - Performance and Verdict
Oh, Epson, when are you going to realise people just won't believe the speed ratings on your printers? 38ppm from an inkjet printer is just silly, if you ever want to do anything with the pages produced. Perhaps printing a couple of characters per page in draft mode could get the printer to that speed, but for normal people, printing in normal print mode, you're likely to see less than a third of it.
Our 5-page text print took 27 seconds, a speed of 11.1ppm, while the longer, 20-page document raised this slightly to 12.8ppm. These are very good speeds, begging the question why Epson thinks it needs to exaggerate them to get people to buy.
The company quotes 15ppm for colour pages, but our 5-page colour print came through at only 2.8ppm, less than a fifth of the claim. A single-page colour copy from the scanner glass took 30 seconds and a five-page, black text copy from the ADF completed in one minute, 10 seconds.
A 15 x 10cm photo print took two minutes, one second in best print mode and 58 seconds in photo mode. There's not a lot of difference in quality between the two photo prints and for most purposes photo mode will be more than good enough.
Colour graphics on plain paper are reasonable, with a good range of colours looking dense and with little in the way of dither patterns. A colour copy was not so good, with colours reproducing in a slightly blotchy way and with some run of black text over colour. Straight black text is quite usable, but isn't as clean as from most other inkjets, showing some spread of ink into the paper nap.
Using the highest-yield ink cartridges gives a cost per black page of 2.5p, with 6.7p for colour, allowing 0.7p for paper in both cases. These are good figures, though beaten by Epson's own Stylus SX610FW.
In fact, the Stylus SX610FW is the main thorn in the Stylus Office BX320FW’s side. At online prices, there's only around £10 between the two and the SX610FW gives you card readers, a Pictbridge socket and 63mm full colour LCD as well as everything seen here. The BX320FW is good value, but not nearly as good as its stablemate.