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.
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.
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.
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