Advent AWP10 Wireless Multifunction Inkjet Printer review
6ipm print speed, USB Hi-Speed, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 175x420x320mm
It's not every day that a new printer manufacturer comes along, so we were excited to get our hands on the first in-house offering from PC World's Advent brand. The AWP10 multifunction peripheral (MFP) isn't a new design from the ground up – it’s based on Kodak's inkjet technology – but there's no direct equivalent in Kodak's range.
The AWP10's specifications are remarkable for the price. There's nothing too exciting about its four-colour inkjet printer or the 1,200dpi scanner, but throw in a card reader, 6.1cm colour screen and wireless networking and the regular £70 price looks like a steal. At the time of writing this was discounted to £50 at both PC World and Currys, making it comfortably the least expensive wireless MFP we've reviewed.
As you might expect for this price, the AWP10 doesn't look particularly slick; its hard black plastics are lifted only by a red go-faster stripe that belongs in a 1986 car interior. It feels well-made enough, though, apart from a cheap-feeling strut for holding up the scanner bed when you need to access the printer internals. You'll need to do this to fit the print heads and ink tanks, but then it's ready to go.
While loading the input tray with plain paper we noticed that the top sheet tended to ride up slightly; not settling down to the base of the input like the others. While this itself didn't cause any mis-feed problems, blank pages were occasionally pulled through during our tests. With only a minimal lip, the output tray let a couple of pages escape during our 25-page draft text test.
On plain paper the AWP10 is acceptably quick, delivering 5.8 pages of normal-quality mono text in a minute, but only 2.7 colour pages. Photo printing was surprisingly rapid: six postcard-sized images took just under four and a half minutes. The quality of the results wasn't too bad either. Black text was fairly sharp, although we noticed the occasional letter glitch, but colours were a little drab on plain paper. Photos printed onto Kodak's Ultima paper were impressive for a general-purpose printer. Mono copies were also good, although colour reproduction in colour copies left a bit to be desired.
Images from the scanner weren't particularly sharp and there was some loss of detail among the lightest and darkest shades, but the overall results were acceptable for office work and the odd creative job. Unfortunately, the scanner lid hinges don't extend upwards to help you scan thick originals, and we didn't like the harsh sound the head made when moving. We received memory warnings when trying to scan at 1,200dpi. Even though our test laptop had more than 2GB of free RAM we couldn't complete this test.
Overall this is a surprisingly competent MFP. Canon's PIXMA MG5150 (below) produces better-quality scans, copies and prints, and is significantly cheaper to run, but has no network interface. If you want a good entry-level MFP for light duties on a home network, this is it.