We investigated a little further by printing the same five page text document in draft mode, as most printer makers quote the fastest possible print speed. It still took just over a minute to complete the print job, slightly under 5ppm. Finally, we took off the processing time within the PC and just included the time from the first page starting to move from the input tray to the last page arriving on the output tray. Even then, we couldn’t get a print speed above 10ppm.
Black text from the printer is reasonably well formed and on the standard multifunction plain paper we use for testing, produces little bleed, though there’s some jaggedness apparent on letter ascenders and decenders. Colour graphics, with text and graphics selected in the printer driver, is clean and solid and black text overprints are easy to read.
Photo output, the main purpose of this printer, is clear and well-detailed. Colours move smoothly from one shade to the next and dark shades are as well reproduced as lighter ones. The extra ink colours help with the reproduction of skies.
If you read printer reviews on TrustedReviews regularly, and are in the market for an Epson photo printer, you may have read our recent review of the Stylus Photo R265 and wonder why there’s a discrepancy in the running costs between that machine and this one. They both use the same inks and paper, so how can one be cheaper to run than the other?
Apart from slight variation in the number of pages we managed to print on the two machines, the key difference is in the price of inks and papers – we found them cheaper than with the earlier review. It’s always worth shopping around on the Internet for best prices on these. There are often two-for-one offers, as well, though we ignore temporary offers in calculating page costs. The R360 produced costs per page of 2.86p for five per cent black text and 51.9p for 20 per cent colour. These are on the high side, even for a machine at this comparatively low price point.
At the price, this is a photo printer which produces good photographic images. Occasional text and graphics print is also reasonable, though the Stylus Photo R360 is no tearaway. The large LCD display is a distinct bonus when selecting and modifying images directly from a memory card.
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