One of the key differences between a printer designed for the home and one intended for small business use is print speed. While everybody wants their prints through as fast as possible, it’s arguably more important when your income depends on it and Epson’s Stylus Office series is designed for speed, but with good features, too.
The Stylus Office BX610FW is a surprisingly neat little machine with an attractive textured plastic top, including an embossed pattern of dots. Its gentle wave shape folds down as you open the 30-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and the only paper feed tray opens at the rear, with a telescopic paper support pulling up.
A corresponding output tray pulls out from the front and above this is the control panel, which hinges open to any of four working positions. The controls are very straightforward, with an embedded 62 mm colour LCD, a square of nine, large navigation keys and a numeric pad for the built-in fax functions. There's just one, large Start button which handles both mono and colour jobs.
Below the controls are two memory card slots, which can handle CompactFlash cards as well as the near-standard trio of SD, MemoryStick and xD. There's a PictBridge socket for cameras, which can also handle USB memory drives. At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, as well as for fax line and third-party phone handset.
The machine supports wireless connection and the setup for this is very matter-of-fact. The wizard automatically detects wireless networks within range and handles security passcodes without problem.
Setting the Stylus Office BX610FW up physically is little more than clipping the four ink tanks into the head carrier, running a charging cycle and printing a calibration page. The software includes a copy of Presto! PageManager 8 for scanning and document handling, as well as Epson utilities for photo manipulation. Oddly, the Web Print utility is claimed to be incompatible with Windows Vista, XP, x64 and OSX but, hey, it's a bonus for all you Windows 98 die-hards.