Simple, everyday all-in-one printers are an ideal solution for small home installations or for students or others with limited budgets. Though most of these printers are comparatively low cost devices, many still make themselves known by the bulk of their cases. Epson has taken a different approach with its Stylus SX235W. One of its Small-In-One range, it's designed to fit in tighter spaces than some of its competition.
Decked out completely in black plastic, it certainly has a smaller footprint when closed than many others. It's a bit bigger all round than a landscape A4 sheet, but is still comparatively discreet. Flick forward the dust flap at the back of the machine and raise the telescopic paper support and you have a feed tray where you can load up to 100 sheets of plain paper, or a stack of photo blanks.
At the front, the control panel hinges forward and clicks into its slanted, open position. Its output tray then pulls forward, with a flip-over paper stop. A rather cheap and cheerful scanner lid lifts to reveal a simple Contact Image Sensor (CIS) flatbed scanner. The lid hinge doesn't raise, making it a bit awkward to scan from a book.
The control panel itself is conspicuous by having no LCD display. It gets by quite well with five LED indicators, including two for the wireless link, and six buttons, for power, Wi-Fi, a network status print, black and colour copies, and job cancel.
As well as a USB socket at the back of the left-hand side panel, the printer can connect directly to a wireless router and doesn't need to connect temporarily via USB, if you're router supports WPS setup.
Lift the main scanner section and the four ink cartridges clipped into the permanent printhead swing into view. We're not sure why Epson needs quite so many different cartridge ranges, when they all appear to deliver very similar amounts of ink in similar form factors, but here you can use the Fox or Apple sets, depending on the yield and price you want.
Even though this is a budget printer, Epson includes a copy of Abbyy FinerReader OCR as well as its own utility and driver software. It supports Windows and OS X and there's a Linux driver available, as well.