Several printer manufacturers have decided that touch control panels are economic to make and easy-to-use. Epson was one of the first to adopt them and now even the fairly modestly priced Stylus Photo PX660 sports one on its sheer, angled face panel.
The touch panel symbols are not easy to miss, with a huge Home icon and large Help question mark to the left of its 63mm LCD screen and four navigation arrows, and Start and Stop symbols and associated extra functions to the right. There are remarkably few controls overall, but the machine still offers a good range of the main all-in-one functions, to print, copy, scan and handle photos. Additionally, the machine can print directly to coated CDs and DVDs.
There’s a single paper path, feeding sheets from an angled tray at the rear through to a telescopic one which pulls out from the front, once the front cover has been folded down. Printing on discs involves lowering the front tray to the horizontal using an internal lever and sliding in the CD carrier from the front.
The Contact Image Centre (CIS) scanner has a thin, slightly flimsy cover on extending hinges, so you can scan from books as well as single sheets, but it's hard to keep the cover open, as it doesn't hinge beyond the vertical and wants to fall shut, if not held in place while loading an original.
Underneath the control panel, which ratchets out to any of seven angles, are two slots for memory cards, which between them can handle SD, MemoryStick, xD and CompactFlash. There is also a PictBridge socket, which doubles as a front panel socket for USB drives.
Software installation is very quick and easy; there are drivers for Windows and OS X on the CD and a direct link to Epson’s Linux support page when you choose Linux from the setup menu. A copy of ABBYY FineReader provides OCR support, on top of a selection of Epson utilities, covering most other aspects of the machine.
This is a six colour printer, with light cyan and light magenta inks added to the standard CMYK. Each of the cartridges clip into the head carrier, which is a permanent fixture and should last the life of the printer.