Although the entry-level market for inkjet printers is a lot smaller than it was, most of the main players still have at least one model at under £40. Epson's offering is the Stylus S21, a cheap and cheerful four-colour inkjet, which uses separate ink tanks for better economy.
The printer is a wide, but shallow machine, until you add the two detachable paper trays, one for feed at the rear and the other for output, at the front. Between them, these two add considerably to the machine's footprint. Up to 80 sheets of plain paper can be stacked in the feed tray at the rear and run directly through to the output tray.
There are only two buttons for physical control of the printer, both of which have LED indicators set into their tops. The first is a power button, where the indicator flashes when the machine isn't ready to print, such as at switch-on, and the second moves the print head ready for cartridge change, or performs a cleaning cycle when held down.
Press down the cartridge change button and the print head moves to an access position, so the head carrier cover can be lifted and each of the four individual ink cartridges inserted. It takes moments, though a while longer to run through the two-stage head alignment, where visible lines are compared in a variety of different print swatches and numbers have to be typed back into the alignment applet.
Printer software includes Easy Photo Print, a simple photo editor and print manager and Web-To-Page, a Web page print utility of a type all the main printer makers are now including as well as the driver itself. Web-To-Page is only compatible with Windows 2000 and the 32-bit version of XP.
Drivers are provided for Windows from 2000 onwards and OS X from 10.3.9. There’s no mention of any Linux support for this machine. As you’d expect, there's just a single USB socket at the back – no Ethernet or wireless in a machine at this price.