The text and graphics print took 3:07, or 1.6ppm and our 15 x 10cm photo print came out at 3:05 from a PC, though it was quicker, at 2:06, printing direct from a camera, via PictBridge.
Print quality of black text isn’t at all bad, though there’s a little spread into the paper nap. Graphics printing is also fair, though areas of solid colour, such as in business charts, aren’t all they might be. There was a repeating fault in parts of our test print, which produced a horizontal bar across one of the graphics. A photocopy of this sheet, taken on the machine, was reasonable, though the normal lightening of colour shades was still evident.
Photo prints, which you wouldn’t expect to be as subtle as from a six-colour machine, were reasonable. Some reds are a little overemphasised and pale shades tend to white, through lack of light cyan and light magenta inks.
During our tests, several pages were marked along their leading edges by parts of the feed mechanism. We have to hope this is an isolated problem with our review sample, as the damaged pages have noticeable nicks, which for many purposes would make them unusable.
Epson quotes page yields using the new ISO test pieces, just becoming available. Until all manufacturers quote yields using this standard, we’re sticking to 5% per colour yield tests and here we managed 300 colour pages, but only 210 black ones. In both cases the printer refused to continue printing, even though we could see no degradation in print quality.
Working with prices for the four-cartridge multipack, which is the cheapest way of buying ink, we calculate a cost per page for 5% black text of 2.49p and for 20% colour of 40.3p. The black text cost is a little on the high side, but the colour print cost is lower than from other inkjet printers and all-in-ones in the same price bracket.
We weren’t as impressed by this machine as we have been with other Epson all-in-ones. On almost all print jobs, it’s pretty sluggish and the nicks the paper feed mechanism puts into printed sheets detract from the otherwise reasonable print quality. Although it’s reasonably cheap to run, particularly when printing colour, there are rival machines to this one from other manufacturers that offer better value from money.
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