Epson’s top-of-the-range photo all-in-one has the stature to go with its price. Its large footprint on the desk is eased by a comparatively low profile. All in black – some gloss, some textured – a single silver highlight is the only relief, running all the way round the machine, about halfway up the case.
A slight bulge at the left-hand end of its top cover is the only indication of the machine’s Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) which, like other recent Epson multifunctions, reveals itself when you fold out the paper feed support. The flatbed scanner itself is sunk behind a raised rim, which contains the very wide touch-control panel.
This combines an array of fixed touch-buttons, which illuminate when they are available for use, with a large 89mm LCD touchscreen. The touchscreen can show menus, instructions and large useful images from memory cards or USB drives. Both screen and panel are sensitive and you don't have to apply much pressure to get your taps recognised.
Below the control panel is a two-tier paper tray, which can take up to 120 sheets of plain paper, underneath a further 20 photo blanks. An output support telescopes out from just above the feed trays. The printer takes in the photo tray, when you instruct it to print on that media. 120 sheets, probably more like 100 sheets of 80g/sm paper, is not very much, even for a machine aimed mainly at the home.
One of the few physical buttons on the control panel sets the machine buzzing away to itself, before it offers you a built-in CD/DVD holder from within its depths – direct print on discs is a standard feature.
To the right of the paper trays are twin photo card slots that can take Compact Flash and Microdrive, as well as the more standard SD, Memory Stick and xD. At the back of the machine are sockets for USB and Ethernet, but it also supports wireless connection, including both router button and passcode setup, which is quick and easy. An on-screen keypad is used for both passcode entry and fax numbers.
This is a six-colour printer and the light cyan and light magenta inks plug in beside the normal CMYK quartet, though in a fixed position, using flexible tubes to connect to the machine's printhead.
Epson supports both Windows and OS X, though no specific mention is made of Linux. A copy of Abbyy FineReader 9 is provided, as well as Epson's own utilities for things like printing Web pages.