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Epson Stylus Photo R285 - Epson Stylus Photo R285

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

As is the noise level figure. Epson quotes 36dBA for the printer, while printing. This is about the level of talking quietly with somebody one metre from you. The Stylus Photo R285 is quiet when printing a page, though we measured it at around 45dBA, but when feeding paper it peaks at 64dBA, nearly twice the level quoted. Paper feeding is an integral part of all print jobs, so to ignore this component gives an incomplete picture of the noise this printer produces. If you print in draft mode, to get the rated print speed, the sound level is over 60dBA most of the time.

Print quality is OK, though nothing special. Although text is a little jagged under close inspection, colour graphics from the dye-based Claria inks are bright and clear on plain paper. Colours in draft and normal mode photos on 15 x 10cm blanks were natural with a good level of detail, though in best quality on A4 sheets of ostensively the same paper, they looked over-saturated and slightly garish.

Epson claims 12 seconds for a 15 x 10cm photo print and we managed 16s in draft mode. Although you can tell the difference between a draft print and a best quality one, draft prints are very serviceable. The draft mode print feels a bit tacky when it comes out of the printer, though, so needs a drying off period. Prints are claimed to last for up to 98 years under glass, which is considerably longer than typical silver halide photographs.

The printer uses six cartridges and when printing the ISO page yield test suite uses them all at different rates. Epson's yield figures vary between 330 for black and 935 for cyan, but when combined give a cost per page figures of 2.12p for black text and 9.57p for colour, including 0.7p for paper. The black page cost is good for an inkjet in this category, though the colour cost is slightly higher than normal.

Verdict

This is a reasonable ink-jet photo printer, but it doesn't stand out from the crowd. Similar models from Canon and HP provide higher quality prints on plain paper and can match the Stylus Photo R285 on speed, despite their lower paper specifications. The Epson machine is quite cheap to run, but can be noisy, particularly if you print in draft mode.

R Campbell

November 1, 2008, 10:28 pm

TERRIBLE PRINTER - this has the terminal disease of epson of wasting ink by the gallon as it continually cleans the head. It wastes yellow above all. This is designed to produce - produce a big fat profit for epson as you continually buy ink.

HERBERT DOBREE

March 28, 2009, 3:31 pm

Please note my remarks.The software for the design and printing of CD/DVDs is far better than any other printer on the market.I have also an EPSON PHOTO 220.And again for using ones own designs or transferring photo files.Simply marvelous.Yes its a slow printer and the inks maybe expensive.But the results of the splendid labels.Is well worth it.

jwilson1980

August 25, 2011, 4:36 pm

THE MOST ANNOYING PRINTER EVER! Nevermind the super-expensive ink (£45!!!). What really infuriates me about this printer is the CD/DVD printing feature which is good in terms of print quality but the amount of time it takes for the printer to set itself up and then it prints one copy and gives you an error so you have to shut the while thing down and start again. After having this printer for a year I've learned to read it's mind and I still can't always get it to print CDs. the first few months were severely painful. If you want to just print paper it's fine but if you are buying it for CD/DVD printing AVOID THIS PRINTER!

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