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Epson Stylus SX235W - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Epson claims speeds of 30ppm for black print and 15ppm for colour from the Stylus SX235W, but these must have been achieved under very interesting conditions. In our real-world tests we saw a draft black text speed of 7.7ppm, the fastest available from the machine. Printing in normal mode saw black speeds of 3.7ppm for the 5-page document, increasing only slightly to 3.9ppm for the 20-page one.

The Text and colour graphics print was slower still, at 1.1ppm and a 15 x 10cm photo took 3:24 at best print quality. There are no memory card slots or a USB socket on the machine, for direct printing. A single page colour copy from the flatbed took 1:04. None of these speeds is at all impressive, even compared with all-in-ones in the same budget market, but for home use many people will be able to live with them.

Epson Stylus SX235W - Open

Print quality is OK, though character shape is sometimes damaged by jagged edges and occasionally slight misalignment from pass to pass of the black print head. Draft mode text is very pale and uses a different font from normal mode, so we doubt many customers would use it.

Colour print on plain paper is good, with bright, attention-grabbing colours, little noticeable banding or blotchiness and with excellent registration of black text over colour backgrounds. A colour copy was reasonable, though some degradation is obvious and reversed text, white on black, lost definition. Photo print, although this machine isn't designed as a photo printer, is excellent, with natural colours and plenty of detail in the difficult to reproduce darker shades.

Using the more economical Apple set of inks gives a cost per page of 2.2p for black and 10.7p the colour. The black cost is good for this class of machine, though the colour cost is a bit high.

Epson Stylus SX235W - Cartridges

Verdict

If funds are limited, you can still get a very serviceable all-in-one printer by choosing Epson’s Stylus SX235W. While print quality overall is nothing special, it’s still very usable and all the basic functions, with the possible exception of direct USB print, are in place. The small physical size of the machine makes it particularly well-suited to bedsits and smaller accommodation.

EXSUDBURY

November 10, 2012, 11:34 am

i liked this printer very much until l I had to change a cartridge. Despite following the very limited instrutions it was very difficult to stop the cartridge holder to remove the empty cartridge. Installing the new Epson cartridge resulted in the warming light showing and despite all my attempts it was impossible to overcome this problem or get the unit to print. As far as I am concerned I would dump this printer and go for something like a Canon that is much easier to maintain.

Thorin Roelants

January 8, 2013, 6:29 pm

I got one of these and so far have been pretty pleased. The print quality is good, although the default text mode is a little jagged and the overall printing speed is far lower than expected. What is a pain is that any paper weight over about 180 gsm doesn't go through the feeder well. Also the starting speed for the first print is amazing slow. Finally the front panel allows for the colour and bw buttons to be pressed to automatically start the scanning software. This just doesn't work for me and Epson provide no technical information on what firewall settings or other such trivia may be causing the problem. Does work via USB however, just not WiFi. For a low cost low volume solution to having the facilities to hand the printer does the job. Just not as well as it could.

Abdel TIh

February 21, 2013, 2:39 pm

Exactly the same as above .a waste of space for me as in one year i also had HP wireless printer which did the same. both rubbish and should be removed from the shelves.

JEK

June 18, 2013, 3:36 am

I’ve had this model for 8 months and it‘s been the worst printer I’ve ever had. More often than not its 'error communication’ is nonsensical and you will be unable to perform any function. For example it will report a paper jam when there is no paper jam and will not respond to any command. IT’S AN AWFUL PIECE OF MACHINERY. WILL NEVER GO EPSON AGAIN. No redeeming value or feature when you waste so much time waiting for it to sort itself out. A waste of money and more importantly, your time. I did enjoy smashing it to bits and pieces as I dumped it, but that’s not a redeeming value, is it?

Lord Cur

September 22, 2013, 6:57 pm

Lord Cur.

I have just purchased this machine as my very old Epson R200 stopped working because of Epson's annoying trait of locking you out of the machine once you have printed a pre-determined number of copies! And yes, I know I could have over-come this easily as I did so about three years ago and it had printed happily ever since! However, it was getting old, I was almost out of inks and was a little concerned that the ink mat could be full which would cause it to leak.

I decided on the 235 because of the price (I bought it on Ebay for £25, which included a complete set of FULL inks, plus £6 for delivery. It was a customer return printer, which came boxed and with its CD. Another reason I purchased this machine is because compatible inks are really cheap and it uses the same inks as does my Epson SX125 which lives in sunny Mallorca; so if either printer packs up, I wont need to throw any unused inks away!

Now to the machine itself. I think its fantastic, although we didn't find installation brilliant (so far as the WI-FI bit was concerned), but our neighbour got it working is a few minutes, thus enabling my 16 years old daughter to print from her laptop from downstairs. I have now used the copier, the scanner and both worked well although printing documents is just a little on the slow side, but that's not a problem for me. Next, I printed a holiday photograph, using Adobe, and I was totally amazed by the result! The photograph came out of the printer looking the same as if it had been lab-processed; the colours were extremely accurate, the print was crisp and had equally sized borders, which my old 200 never managed! True, that I did use a professional quality Canon DSLR, but I am confident that photographs taken on our Galaxlysmart phones, or my daughter's Ipod will be equally good!

The only downside is that it didn't come with a USB cable and my 200 cable wouldn't fit. No problem though, I used the cable from my back up all-in-one Epson DX5050 (my least favourite Epson printer) because, I was told that the desk-top computer had to be connected via a cable for it to work. I have just bought a new USB cable on-line for under £2 so that I can re-connect the DX, so no great expense there!

I would certainly award this space-saving little bit of kit 5 stars if I could find how to do it.

Marshy

September 23, 2013, 9:27 pm

Terrible printer, problem after problem after problem. Do not go near this waste of space.

mimi

October 31, 2013, 4:16 pm

Totally true. This is a waist of money and time...

Maja Mlakar

July 2, 2014, 10:00 am

I completely agree -.- !

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